Sammy and Friends

Sammy and Friends

by Sammy Davis Jr.Sammy Davis Jr.


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Rhino's Sammy & Friends isn't a greatest-hits compilation, but for many casual fans this 20-track collection may be definitive, since it concentrates on his early-'60s recordings -- all cut when the Rat Pack was at the height of its powers. Like many of Frank Sinatra's friends, Davis signed with Frank's new label, Reprise, as soon as he could, and once he was there, his arrangements became brassier and jazzier, and his records had many celebrity duets, usually with friends who were also signed to Reprise. Apart from standards, Sammy was never given the prime material during his time at Reprise, but he worked with great arrangers and bands, including Billy May, Nelson Riddle, Marty Paich, Benny Carter, Buddy Rich, and Morty Stevens. Still, what mattered most was his personality and the intoxicating intoxication of the Rat Pack. No other collection captures their charm better than Sammy & Friends. Almost all of the songs were recorded for Reprise between 1962 and 1964, with a stray selection from 1969 ("The Goin's Great"), a couple of 1965/1966 selections, and, most importantly, three tunes from the Rat Pack's greatest accomplishment, the heist flick Ocean's 11, including "Eee-O-Eleven," which makes its CD debut here. That certainly makes this single disc attractive to collectors, but for anyone who isn't a dedicated fan, Sammy & Friends is still the disc to own. Yes, it's missing his early Decca hits and such latter-day smashes as "I've Gotta Be Me" and "The Candy Man." Yes, there are some silly throwaways scattered throughout this collection, and, rather inexplicably, Dean Martin's Ocean's 11 version of "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" is included (apparently, that falls under the "& Friends" category). But that's all nitpicking, since Sammy & Friends delivers the swinging, sophisticated, funny, and stylish showman that was Sammy Davis, Jr.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/18/2000
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227593421
catalogNumber: 75934
Rank: 36424

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sammy Davis   Primary Artist
Bing Crosby   Track Performer
Dean Martin   Track Performer
Frank Sinatra   Track Performer
Billy May   Conductor
Buddy Rich   Track Performer
George Rhodes   Conductor
Morris Stoloff   Conductor
Benny Carter   Conductor
John Dankworth   Conductor
Ernie Freeman   Conductor,Arreglos
Jimmie Haskell   Conductor
Marty Paich   Conductor
Nelson Riddle   Conductor
Mort Stevens   Conductor
Friends   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Sam Butera   Arranger
George Rhodes   Arranger
Hugh Brown   Art Direction
Sammy Cahn   Composer
John Dankworth   Arranger
Ernie Freeman   Arranger
Jimmie Haskell   Arranger
Bill Inglot   Sound Advisor
Marty Paich   Arranger
David McLees   Producer
Gary Peterson   Producer,Annotation
Mort Stevens   Arranger
James Van Heusen   Composer
Pat Sierchio   Producer,Liner Notes
Ron Weisner   Executive Producer
Julie Vlasak   Art Direction
Pino Spotti   Composer
A. Testa   Composer
Altovise Davis   Executive Producer
Bill Inqlot   Producer
Albert Murray   Executive Producer
John M. Elliott   Composer
Vandyke   Composer
Lew Quading   Composer

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