Take some well-written songs, a charming voice and excellent musicians, put them together, and you’ll come away with a feast for the ears. Daniela Schachter accomplishes this with Van Heusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen (2016).
The set consists mostly of songs composed by the celebrated songwriter for whom it’s named. Many of Van Heusen’s songs were recorded or performed by Frank Sinatra. Schachter sings, plays piano and composed all arrangements. Her accompanists are Mike Tucker, tenor saxophone; Michael O’Brien, acoustic bass; and Mark Walker, drums.
The quartet is solid throughout, with Schachter performing elegantly on the keys, and her voice expressing the love and joy of playing this music. Her voice is at once soothing and enchanting. The musicians complement one another well, each getting an opportunity here and there to stretch out a bit. A few highlights are “Here’s That Rainy Day,” “Darn That Dream,” “Come Fly with Me,” and the one original song, Schachter’s “Vanheusenism.” Schachter even employs a delightful scat during her rendition of “Polkadots & Moonbeams.”