Whatever the word "swinginest" means, MicroWerks here licenses 14 tracks by Sammy Davis, Jr.
originally released on singles by Decca Records between 1954 and 1958, including all of his singles chart entries except "I'll Know" (which only got to number 87). Davis
found early success as a record-seller on Decca, reaching the Top Ten with his version of "Something's Gotta Give" and the Top 20 with "Hey There," "Love Me or Leave Me," and "That Old Black Magic." His performances are full of his extroverted stage personality and even some of his act, as he spends his cover of "Because of You" imitating other singers, including Nat King Cole
, Tony Bennett
, and Frankie Laine
, then presents his impressions of a raft of movie stars -- James Cagney
, James Stewart
, Cary Grant
, Lionel Barrymore
, and Edward G. Robinson
-- before declaring, "This is me," and singing straight for a chorus, only to morph into Jerry Lewis
before the end. Davis
also takes a shot at becoming a rhythm & blues singer, making like the Coasters
in "Get Out of the Car (Uh, Oh!)" and channeling Ray Charles
in "Hallelujah, I Love Her So." But he is most comfortable doing show tunes and standards, and he has to camp up the material at least a little. Although she isn't mentioned in the album credits, Carmen McRae
joins the fun on a duet of "A Fine Romance" that rewrites the lyrics slightly to more congenial effect.