Daniela Schachter: Purple Butterfly (2009)
A gifted vocalist who just happens to also play the piano quite well, Daniela Schachter conjures up comparisons to the great Diana Krall on Purple Butterfly, an offering of contemporary jazz vocals covered with a bit of honey and a taste of Italy. This Sicilian-born, New York-based artist possesses distinctive high-pitch voice, which she employs on ten alluring songs, voicing lyrics in English and Italian (sung gracefully on the emotive "E Se Domani"). Schachter even serves up a dash of Brazil on the closer, "Lo Sguardo Della Luna."
On this, her third album, Schachter is joined by a stellar supporting cast of top-notch musicians including trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, in-demand tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, bassist Massimo Biolcati and drummer Quincy Davis. Like most traditional jazz vocal albums, the repertoire contains a good portion of oft-recorded standards, along with a couple of originals. Also included are a couple of Schachter-arranged Chick Corea tunes, providing keyboard work akin to the composer's on "Promise," and scatting vocals on the Frahm-accompanied "500 Miles High."
The music is generally tender and light, using a standard landscape that starts with an emotional reading of Michel Legrand's "I Will Wait For You," featuring Sipiagin in an exquisite solo performance. Schachter's arrangement of Henry Mancini's signature tune, "The Days of Wine and Roses," allows the singer to display her more than ample talents on piano, supported by some more excellent tenor work by Frahm. The familiar "Autumn Leaves" is performed a bit on the speedy side, giving it a different texture that morphs the melody, complete with more scatting and lively solos from Davis, Biolcati and Sipiagin. It does not sound like the original Joseph Kosma tune, but nevertheless commands a certain power.
On Victor Young's classic "Beautiful Love," the last standard of the album, Schachter plays Fender Rhodes and shares the largely instrumental portion of this superb rendition with dicey solo spots from Frahm, Biolcati and Davis.
One listen to Daniela Schachter's Purple Butterfly may be enough to convince those who favor jazz vocals that they have just experienced a special musical statement. This talent-rich vocalist, pianist and composer cements her place in the jazz world with an extraordinary effort.
Track Listing: I Will Wait for You; Days of Wine and Roses; Autumn Leaves; The Peacocks; Promise; 500 Miles High; Purple Butterfly; E Se Domani; Beautiful Love; Lo Sguardo Della Luna.
Personnel: Daniela Schachter: vocals, piano, Fender Rhodes; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet, flugelhorn; Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone; Massimo Biolcati: acoustic bass; Quincy Davis: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced