Mar 14, 2020
Bria Skonberg has been one of the most exciting new artists of the past few years, combining a deep love of “hot jazz” with a desire to expand her sphere of knowledge. The latest result of this search is Nothing Never Happens, produced by Grammy-winner Eli Wolf.
While Bria’s singing and trumpet solos are clearly the center of attention, this is very much a “band album.” Ma. Skonberg’s working band of recent years – pianist Mathis Picard, bassist Devin Starks and drummer Darrian Douglas – are aided on a few tracks with some great guests: saxophonist Patrick Bartley, Hammond B3 master Jon Cowherd, and guitar great Doug Wamble. There are five Skonberg originals, the best of which is an aching version of one of the older tunes in her repertoire, “So is the Day.” She does a Sinatra-esque cover of “Bang Bang” and lets her love of eighties pop come across with a burning take on Queen’s “I Want to Break Free.”
Born in Chilimack, British Columbia, Bria Skonberg developed a love of the music of Louis Armstrong and other early jazz legends. Aided by a voice the lends itself to torchy ballads, she quickly showed herself ready to carry the flame for music of the first few decades of the twentieth century. Nothing Never Happens takes her writing along a different path, and her playing continues to grow and develop deeper levels of nuance.
Podcast 732 is my conversation with Bria Skonberg, as she laughs off the idea that her music can be put in any one category, talks about the New York Hot Jazz Camp set for mid-April, and her plans for new paths to take her art. Musical selections from Nothing Never Happens include "So is the Day" and "I Want to Break Free."