Artist: Bria Skonberg
Title: With a Twist
Release Date: 2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Label: Okeh – Sony Masterworks
Vocalist, trumpeter and songwriter Bria Skonberg re-imagines it all on her new OKeh/Masterworks album, “With a Twist”. Coming off a recent Juno Award for her first OKeh collection, Bria, Skonberg spins her cool and confident vocal style — and her sleek and timeless jazz chops — into a program that playfully nods to tradition while always looking ahead.
Bria Skonberg is a trumpet playing vocalist who is blessed with a beautiful voice on both instruments. An award winning musician who studied with the great Warren Vache, she has had three releases prior to this. The baker’s dozen of standards, lesser known works and originals assembled here is both impressive and fun, as evidenced by the song selections. My Baby Just Cares for Me is given a typical Bria treatment: trumpet filigrees intertwine with piccolo, courtesy of Kathleen Nester and alto flute, via Sheryl Henze, along with trombone, bass, drums, piano and strings. Bria blows an extremely impressive trumpet and sings superbly, often reminiscent of Diana Krall. The comparisons are undeniable. Great voice, great instrumentalist and a penchant for the great American songbook. Alright, Okay, You Win combined with Soul Bossa Nova is given a big band treatment that allows her impressive trumpet to step out. Cocktails for Two’s opening section is primarily a vocal with pianist Sullivan Fortner. It then segues into a broader band piece with tenor player Evan Arntzen given much space.
Her take on the Leonard Cohen-penned Dance Me To The End of Love is tenderly rendered, framed by flutes and then her expressive trumpet. It’s Oh So Quiet is, as advertised a quiet piece, albeit with a rambunctious bridge, reminding of perhaps a Broadway number. It’s fun and the musicianship is as impressive as the lyrics are humorous. The three Skonberg original tunes are the most impressive of the lot. How I know has a Latin groove and clever lyrics. “Splittin a cab drive/your hand found mine/ driving’ down the East side/Now every song is about you/and every moment feels like Dj vu…” Some Kind of Crazy is Matt Wilson drum-driven and again lyrically clever. Sung with an inherent chuckle it combines tenor and trumpet in a brilliant conversation. Time to Go, the closer, has classic written all over it. More nimble lyrics beautifully sung, while the band and the trumpeter wail. The instrumental passages are almost Art Blakey-ish. With a Twist is a wonderful collection of songs and a joyful release.
- My Baby Just Cares For Me – 3:07
- Sway – 3:16
- Alright, Okay, You Win/Soul Bossa Nova – 3:20
- Cocktails for Two (Quintet Version) – 3:22
- Whatever Lola Wants – 3:01
- Dance Me to the End of Love – 5:36
- It’s Oh So Quiet – 4:58
- How I Know – 4:11
- High Hat, Trumpet, And Rhythm – 3:19
- Back in Your Own Back Yard – 4:37
- Same Kind of Crazy – 3:53
- Thinking Out Loud – 4:47
- Time to Go – 2:55