Capitol Collectors Series: Sammy Davis Jr.

Collectors Series: Sammy Davis Jr. is the result of five 1949 sessions at the outset of Davis’ recording career, this collection of mostly up-tempo jazz and blues numbers finds the young singer crooning, scatting, affecting accents, aping established vocalists, and even tap-dancing, all with the characteristic theatrical overstatement that endeared him to countless fans. Following his unique muse, Davis’ performances here veer unpredictably from resonant and affecting to embarrassingly awful, but portray him as an intrepid vocal explorer enjoying the path to a personality all his own. C+