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Sammy Davis Jr.


Recognized throughout much of his career as "the world's greatest living entertainer," Sammy Davis, Jr. was a remarkably popular and versatile performer equally adept at acting, singing, dancing and impersonations — in short, a variety artist in the classic tradition. A member of the famed Rat Pack, he was among the very first African-American talents to find favor with audiences on both sides of the color barrier, and remains a perennial icon of cool. Born in Harlem on December 8, 1925, Davis made his stage debut at the age of three performing with Holiday in Dixieland, a black vaudeville troupe featuring his father and helmed by his de facto uncle, Will Mastin; dubbed "Silent Sam, the Dancing Midget," he proved phenomenally popular with audiences and the act was soon renamed Will Mastin's Gang Featuring Little Sammy

News: Video / DVD

Backgrounder: Sammy Sings, Laurindo Plays, 1966

Backgrounder: Sammy Sings, Laurindo Plays, 1966

One of Sammy Davis Jr.'s finest albums is Sammy Davis Jr. Sings and Laurindo Almeida Plays, an LP he recorded in June 1966 accompanied only by Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida. Captured at United Recordings in Las Vegas and released on Reprise, the album of ballads allowed listeners to hear Sammy's voice exposed in an intimate, near-a ...

News: Video / DVD

Five Video Clips of Sammy Davis Jr.

Five Video Clips of Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr. was a tragic figure in many ways. Enormously talented as an actor, singer, dancer, musician, comedian and entertainer, he was born too soon in segregated America to be taken seriously as a powerhouse artist. So he worked doubly hard to stand out and often poked fun at himself to minimize hate as he ...


Article: Album Review

Marjorie Barnes & Millennium Jazz Orchestra: Both Sides Now

Read "Both Sides Now" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Marjorie Barnes, a native New Yorker who has been living in Europe for almost fifty years including several decades in the Netherlands, summons her many years of experience to brighten and embroider Both Sides Now, her impressive debut recording with the world-class Millennium Jazz Orchestra (MJO). Barnes sang in the mid-1970s with the multiple Grammy Award-winning ...


Article: Profile

Gaga, Bennett, The Count, Presidents: Harold Jones Drums Across History

Read "Gaga, Bennett, The Count, Presidents: Harold Jones Drums Across History" reviewed by Arthur R George

When Tony Bennett stepped past the twilight of Alzheimer's onto the stage of Radio City Music Hall in jny: New York City in August 2021, drummer Harold Jones was there ready for him, as he had been for Bennett over the past seventeen years, in a friendship going back to 1968. Lady Gaga, the popstar recreated ...


Article: Album Review

Chuck Anderson: Spontaneity

Read "Spontaneity" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

For those who don't know, Chuck Anderson is a jazz guitarist, composer, and educator based in the Philadelphia area for many years. He studied with Dennis Sandole, went on to be the staff guitarist at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, NJ followed by a tour of duty at the Valley Forge Music Fair in Devon, ...


Article: Album Review

George Cables: Too Close for Comfort

Read "Too Close for Comfort" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Maestro George Cables returns to the trio format on Too Close for Comfort, the twenty-first recording as leader of own groups. That means listeners are able to hear even more of his deft and delightful piano, always a welcome bonus. Cables is admirably supported throughout by bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Victor Lewis. ...

News: Video / DVD

Benny Carter: Whisper to One

Benny Carter: Whisper to One

Back in June 1995 Benny Carter recorded two albums of his own songs. Aptly titled Benny Carter Songbook I and Benny Carter Songbook II, the albums showcased the alto saxophonist-trumpeter playing his own compositions. The albums were the brainchild of producers Danny Kapilian and Ed Berger. On the second volume was a song called Whisper to ...


Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Alex Bird

Read "Take Five with Alex Bird" reviewed by Alex Bird

Meet Alex Bird Alex Bird is a singer/songwriter and actor in jny: Toronto, ON. With a swinging style and an indescribable charm, Alex and his “Jazz Mavericks" are currently working on an entirely new chapter in the Great American Songbook, with their soon to be released, all original debut album, “Whisky Kisses" (Summer 2020). “The Way ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Summer City

Read "Summer City" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This Summer in the City broadcast includes new releases from bassist Marlene Rosenberg, vocalists Greta Matassa and Rosana Ekert, the Akiko/Hamilton/Dechter Trio and the Wayne Wallace Jazz Quartet, with birthday shout outs to Dave Grusin, vocalists Madeline Eastman, Tierney Sutton, Lena Horne and harpist Brandee Younger, among others. Playlist Jennifer Wharton “The Year of ...


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