Take a jazz pianists soul, add a dash of blues at times, and mix in some stage musical style vocals, and you pretty much get Danielle Braund's approach to her new CD No Tears.
Raised in Alberta, Braund studied classical voice at university where she was urged by her music professors into opera. According to her website bio at the same time, she found composing her own music to be the added creative outlet that she needed. With her music degree in hand, she headed to Detroit where she further honed her jazz piano and improvisation skills.
So the gal has a rather strong background in music, and it shows. She sings big. This is music akin to the likes of a Diana Krall, different in pitch and material, there is a similarity of approach.
Braund wrote all the songs here, and they are fine efforts too an example being the title cut, and How Beautiful.
This is a strong debut album which should cross over genres nicely. It certainly has the underpinnings of jazz, but isn't so far removed from something you'll hear on MuchMusic either (she needs a video for No Tears). It's a good mixture, which should earn this talented lady a lot of fans.
There is no doubt Braund was meant to sing, and she has chosen a genre which let's her push herself vocally, and as solid as this debut is, you get the feeling listening to her that she will only get better with time and experience on her side.
Definitely one for jazz fans and lovers of exciting new female vocalists.
You can track her career at www.daniellebraund.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper April 23, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada