Adi Braun

Wholenote Magazine
October 2005
Cathy Riches

Toronto singer Adi Braun has released her second CD The Rules of the Game, and for people who like their jazz sung straight - Braun does not have the typical sound or phrasing and improvisational abilities normally associated with jazz singing - this is a good disc. Braun has a strong voice, big range and a theatrical approach that owes a lot to her classical training and cabaret background.

She has chosen an interesting mix of tunes for this disc with Canadian composers taking a front seat. Gordon Lightfoot's Beautiful lives up to its name, and Shirley Eikhard contributes 2 1/2 songs the 1/2 being a collaboration with Andre Bernard on the lovely, bossa-ish Guanabara Bay. Don and Jeff Breithaupt also contribute two previously unrecorded tunes, to round out the Canadian contingent. The standards include the Duke's I Got it Bad and That Ain't Good and Porter's You do Something to Me.

I can't say enough about the skill and beauty of Doug Riley's piano playing. He and the other musicians add much, while never overwhelming the singing. Steve Wallace is solid and inventive on acoustic bass and Terry Clarke turns in his usual steady and sensitive performance on drums. Tenor player Perry White is a perhaps lesser-known musician who has been on the Toronto scene for a while, who lately seems to be cropping up on more recordings. I hope we get to hear more of him in the future.