Adi Braun - The Rules Of The Game

Talkin' Broadway
June 2006
Rob Lester

Give me 30 seconds of your time and I think I'll be able to convince you that Adi Braun has a voice you'll want to keep hearing. You can tell right away with any track on her new CD that she's a pro and that she has a sound and style that's luxurious and luscious. This vocalist has a confidence that leaps out. After finding success in her home base of Canada, her music is now being more widely released in the United States, and her new album has been picked up by LML Records. It's called The Rules of the Game and by "game" we're not talking bingo! It's the game of love in these selections, and sometimes lust. Adi is comfortable presenting her sensuous side, and it doesn't come off as overly coy or calculated. She has a velvety voice and can also bite into words like "I want your love," in "Love Me or Leave Me," or "kama sutra" in the album's title song, or ... well, almost any line in her sultry "Honeysuckle Rose."

Adi can take things sweet and slow or sassy and swinging; we get the best of both worlds in the lighthearted Cole Porter song "You Do Something to Me." It starts super-relaxed and builds and picks up tempo until it's a bursting celebration. A very different theater song, the serious and searing "Lonely House" (Kurt Weill/ Langston Hughes from Street Scene) is well within her abilities, too, evidencing her dramatic flair and control. She does a lovely and thoughtful job with Ann Hampton Callaway's wise life lessons set to music, "You Can't Rush Spring," and gives a nod to fellow Canadian Gordon Lightfoot's "Beautiful," which is prime prettiness. These tracks hold up better on repeated listenings than a couple of the others that aren't quite as strong.

Whether turning bluesy, burnishing a ballad or breezily taking a scat chorus, Adi is at home and impresses. It's worth noting that she's the daughter of two professional singers and has been singing for some time, having started with classical music. She has one earlier album, Delishious, available; it also contains a mix of theater, jazz and pop. Adi has the good fortune and good taste to have the same rhythm section on both albums: Doug Riley (piano), Steve Wallace (bass), Terry Clarke (drums) and Perry White (sax). They are top musicians, and they get to stretch out on the jazzier tracks, but there's nothing on the self-indulgent or abstract side, nor anything to make jazz-phobic music fans quiver.

New Yorkers can see Adi up close and personal as June comes to an end. She will be singing in a free mini-concert at 6 p.m. on June 28 at Tower Records/ Lincoln Center's "Any Wednesday" series. The next two nights, she'll be at Danny's Skylight Room twenty blocks further south. Meanwhile, her albums can be sampled at her website, or at She's a winner.