Bria Skonberg @ Jazz Standard - New York City Article

Bria Skonberg @ Jazz Standard


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Bria Skonberg @ Jazz Standard

Nov 1, 2019

Bria Skonberg
Jazz Standard
116 E. 27th, (212) 576-2232
November 1 through 3

Trumpeter, vocalist, composer, and bandleader Bria Skonberg first attracted our attention as perhaps the single most dynamic musical personality to emerge from the nascent Hot Jazz movement, about nine or ten years ago. (She’s still younger than most of my credit card bills - “LOL,” as the millennials would say.) And it’s not that she’s moved beyond Hot Jazz as a style - she was a cofounder of the New York Hot Jazz Festival and she continues to run the Hot Jazz Camp - but she’s realized that when you start with the foundations of jazz as your point of departure, you can go anywhere you like from there. Hence, her excellent new album, Nothing Never Happens, features her still-evolving cocktail of jazz (traditional and modern, hot and cool), blues, folk, pop, and whatever (even a song by Sonny Bono. Sonny Bono? Sonny Bono?!) You can’t get more eclectic than that.) Only Bria would think to combine Duke Ellington’s “Black and Tan Fantasy” (which itself “samples” Chopin) and Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird.” Her original “Square One” is a guitar-heavy country and western song that someone should eMail to Emmylou Harris. Unlike most of her contemporaries, both as singers and musicians in the Hot Jazz camp, Ms. Skonberg has a gift for making albums that are actually as good as she is in person (kudos also to producer Eli Wolf), and Nothing Never Happens, as it happens, is infinitely dig-able.

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)

SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)