Rick Braun sings with a respect for the vital balance between words and music, for the many-layered connections between the inner story of a song and the beauty of its melody. He does so with the same respect for phrasing that one finds in a Sinatra or a Bennett performance. But, what Rick does with that phrasing, with his use of the "minimalist" approach that he cites as an important element in his music, is his own creative craftwork.
And that, as much as anything, is what makes this album so fascinating. At a time when the male jazz vocal field has been far too sparsely populated, Rick Braun Sings With Strings makes a convincing case for the arrival of a potential new star of the jazz vocal art.
POPS I: Rick Braun
Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
Saturday, October 20, 2012