New life for the classics

Town Crier Online
February 2003
Andrew Matte

Adi Braun's new CD is called 'Delishious,' a collection of standards that will be familiar to just about everybody.

When Adi Braun's normally delicate but purposeful voice grinds out the word "rock" at the beginning of her version of the classic 'Mr. Sandman,' we can tell she means it, in much the same way as, say, a '70s Roger Daltrey.

And here's a challenge for any male listener older than 14 who's at least somewhat heterosexual listen to 'Lover Man,' even if it's just halfway through. Denying the listener can remain untouched by the singer's interpreted sensuality, is impossible. Called Delishious, Braun's collection of jazz works offers the listeners with a confident, sultry CD.

Braun's fabulous voice, the musicians' understated performance and the song's familiarity will surely delight fans of jazz, and most other genres of music. Okay, perhaps not those who enjoy gangster rap.

Delishious is perfect music for guests. Picture a dinner party attended by people of varying ages and interests seated at the supper table, all tapping feet, utensils and bread sticks.

Braun's abilities come thanks, at least in part, to her evolution of styles. Not long ago, the classically-trained singer switched gears a little and began perform more mainstream music that she also enjoyed.

"About seven years ago, I did a sideways step," she says.

"But in the last two or three years, I've really full committed to going full force in this direction."

She says she began embracing jazz because she felt it was more freeing than classical music. And it also allowed her to experiment more, something that she wanted to do but wasn't permitted in the classical world.

"I was personally never able to live that out in the classical field. And I was yearning for that. And I knew I had a knack for rhythmic things as well. So that was my biggest attraction."

She was also more than happy to take what she knew from classical music and translate it to jazz. She knew she was capable of working her voice in many ways that would be perfect for jazz.

"Because of my classical training, I have a huge arsenal of skills or colours on a pallet that I can use," she says, adding her influences include Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney.

She says she picked the songs because they were among her favourites, but deciding which ones to do and which ones to pass on was difficult.

"It was very hard to confine it to the 12. I wanted to have a good cross section. I wanted to have some swing, some Latin and definitely ballads," she said.

"I also love how some of these songs have a slower introductory verse that leads into a chorus and not a lot of singers sing them."

Want to know more? Visit her Web site