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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