Sammy Davis Jr. (vcl), Marty Paich (p, dir, arr), Jack Sheldon, Al Porcino, John Audino (tp), Vince DeRosa (Frh), Stu Williamson, Bob Enevoldsen (v-tb), Red Callender (tuba), Joe Maini (as), Bud Shank (as, fl), Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper (ts), Bill Hood, Jack Nimitz (bs), Jimmy Rowles, Dave Grusin (p), Joe Mondragon (b), Mel Lewis, Frank Capp (d), Larry Bunker (vib, perc), Emil Richards (perc)
Reference: FSRCD 922
Bar code: 8427328609227
This collection features Sammy Davis Jr. as a singer at his best, blending superbly with the beautifully crafted work of arranger Marty Paich conducting his famous jazz Dek-tette and larger orchestral units derived from it. Seasoned with the notable contributions of such jazz soloists as Jack Sheldon, Bud Shank, Mel Lewis and Jimmy Rowles, Paich’s settings were perfect for Davis. And this is how they felt about each other.
Davis: “Trust is everything in life. That’s why I chose Marty Paich. I trusted his work with my buddy Mel Tormé at Bethlehem and Verve. Paich had this West Coast jazz-style approach to music. Together we made some of the best recordings of my career.”
Paich: “Sammy Davis is easy to work with from the arranger’s standpoint. Why? Because he’s got such a fantastic sense of time and rhythm which makes for good singing. He has an excellent ear and is able to adjust to anything I might write for him. Once he hears a chart, he makes adjustments to it, which is the type of singer I like to work with because in a sense he is like a jazz musician, fitting his singing into the arrangement.”
That same jazz feel and great talent were marvellously married by Davis and Paich on these essential sides, gathered here for the first time.
"If you never considered Sammy Davis Jr a serious swinger, give this hot album a listen. He was known as “Mr. Entertainment” because he did so many thing so well; let’ not forget he could SING, and he is in the perfect environment on these early ‘60s sessions. Marty Paich, who did seminal West Coast Cool arrangements for albums by the likes of Anita O’Day, Mel Torme’, Frank Sinatra and Art Pepper, adds his magic touch to these 23 toe tappers. He brings along Hollywood session studs including Jack Sheldon/tp, Bill Perkins/ts, Red Callender/tb, Jimmy Rowles/p, Bud Shank/as, Mel Lewis/dr and Bob Cooper/ts and puts Davis in the perfect environment for ultra hip reads of “A Lot of Livin’ To Do” and “Too Close For Comfort.” There’s not a hint of Rat Pack attitude here; Davis sounds like he’s trying out for a job at the Riviera as he croons through “Something’s Coming” and out –Nathan Detroit’s Sinatra on a toe tapper of “Guys and Dolls.” The silky reeds fit like a shark suit on ”Make Someone Happy” and “Falling In Love With Love” as Paich paints like a French Impressionist. This one’s a keeper!"
George W. Harris (March 20, 2017)