Italian pianist and singer Daniela Schachter goes into the "songbook" genre on this CD, doing lively spins on the work of songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen, a man responsible for more hits than I realized. I knew he had written several songs for Frank Sinatra but until seeing them here, I hadn't realized he also had a hand in standards like "Darn That Dream" and "Here's That Rainy Day."
Schachter's voice throughout the set is mature and melodic enough to give the songs life but the key to the CD's success is her piano playing and arranging which revitalizes slow ballads like "The Second Time Around" and "Polkadots And Moonbeams" with propulsive energy reminiscent of Chick Corea. She does "All The Way" instrumentally, bringing all sorts of romantic embellishments out but keeping the melody mostly intact while a medley of "Like Someone In Love" and "Imagination" is done to a relaxed swinging strut that allows Schachter space to show off her scatting skills and Mike Tucker the chance to do one of several swooping tenor sax solos.
"Call Me Irresponsible" is a duet for Michael O'Brien's tremulous bass and Schachter's intimate singing, "But Beautiful" sports a sophisticated funk-gospel groove and "I Thought About You" rides the CD out on a wave of honky tony piano. The title track is a swoony Schachter composition that pays tribute to Van Heusen while incorporating a few of his melodies.
This is a stylish tribute that shows the elegance and force in Daniela Schachter's singing and playing. She brightens these familiar melodies up into something fun and new.
Here's That Rainy Day; Darn That Dream; Come Fly With Me; Like Someone In Love/Imagination; The Second Time Around; Vanheusenism; All The Way; Polkadots And Moonbeams; It Could Happen To You; Call Me Irresponsible; But Beautiful; I Thought About You.
Daniela Schächter: piano, vocals; Mike Tucker: tenor saxophone; Michael O'Brien: bass; Mark Walker: drums.
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