Paulien Van Schaik takes a big risk for a young singer, not only tackling some of the most popular standards from the Great American Songbook, but doing so backed solely by bassist Hein Van De Geyn and trumpeter Bert Joris. Fortunately, her gamble pays off. The leader's clear voice and precise enunciation benefit from the sparse accompaniment, starting off with a delicious take of "Embraceable You." Van De Geyn and Joris set up the easy-going, slightly funky take of "Them There Eyes," while she restores the frequently omitted verse to "The Man I Love," singing it a cappella, before Joris adds long droning notes beneath her as she enters the body of the song. She's equally capable in a brisk setting, such as the breezy arrangement of "Just in Time." The bassist opens "Moonlight in Vermont" with a virtuoso solo, then takes a back seat as Joris' fragile, Chet Baker-like trumpet provides the primary decoration to Van Schaik's sentimental (yet never sappy) take of the song. The finale is a brash but fun interpretation of "Please Don't Do It in Here," a blues by Billie Holiday. This impressive Dutch jazz vocalist deserves to be heard by jazz fans worldwide.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden