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Bria Skonberg: So is the Day (2012)

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Bria Skonberg: So is the Day It's a rare talent that can straddle—and dare request membership in—the trumpet artist continuum emanating from Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
1901 - 1971
trumpet
and progressing down through his "Neo Orleans" progeny: Byron Stripling
Byron Stripling
Byron Stripling
b.1961
trumpet
, Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
and Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton
Nicholas Payton
b.1973
trumpet
(whose big band trumpet section Skonberg graces). However, with her bravura performance on So is the Day, Bria Skonberg
Bria Skonberg
Bria Skonberg

trumpet
confirms that she is not only indeed a triple threat musician—player, vocalist and composer—but also that that esteemed lineage, consummate entertainers all, would heartily approve her membership.

This stunningly beautiful British Columbia native plays (and writes and sings) at levels of excellence and maturity far beyond her years. Whether it's plunging and growling away, soaring across the horn's range ferociously, or delivering beautifully constructed lyrical solo lines, Skonberg demonstrates solid chops and great command of her instrument. Displaying artistic flexibility and fire, she unabashedly channels Armstrong, Cootie Williams
Cootie Williams
Cootie Williams
1911 - 1985
trumpet
, Warren Vache
Warren Vache
Warren Vache
b.1951
cornet
, and other legendary players.

It's also obvious that Skonberg is an admiring student of the vocal tradition, too. She exhibits stylistic shades of Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee
1920 - 2002
vocalist
, Dinah Washington
Dinah Washington
Dinah Washington
1924 - 1963
vocalist
, and Diana Krall
Diana Krall
Diana Krall
b.1964
piano
. She has a beautiful voice—both soul sultry and innocent sweet—and an instrumentalist's feel for melodic line and rhythm. Her vocal and horn chops intertwine seamlessly. "Have a Little Heart" is a perfect example.

An insightfully versatile composer, Skonberg delivers nine engaging originals, all stylistically unique. She's done her homework; the forms and lyric phrasings are classic. "I Wish I Hadn't Forgotten" frames Skonberg with guest John Pizzarelli
John Pizzarelli
John Pizzarelli
b.1960
guitar
, a perfect vocal partner, on an elegant guy/gal swinger. "Penny in Your Pocket" grinds blue with Scott Elias' organ. "Hip Check" (a sidewinder turned inside out to 5/4 time) and "Chilliwack Cheer" deal Cajun spice. "Far Away," the most contemporary of her originals, modulates dreamily.

Three well-known selections are given refreshed presentations performed with verve. Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
b.1943
vocalist
's "Big Yellow Taxi" shines with a bouncy Caribbean groove and a beauty of a Skonberg flugelhorn solo. "Let Yourself Go" and Erik Satie's over-recorded "Gymnopedie" are done in Latin-esque treatments.

Skonberg's supporting crew is stellar throughout, and seems to relish placing Skonberg in the spotlight. Swinging woodwind artist Victor Goines
Victor Goines
Victor Goines
b.1961
reeds
, trombone stars Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon
b.1967
trombone
and Michael Dease
Michael Dease
Michael Dease
b.1982
trombone
, and a rhythm section of (terrific) pianist Jeff Lashway
Jeff Lashway

piano
, the versatile Randy Johnston on guitar, bassist Kelly Friesen, and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. collectively and individually energize.

So is the Day, while tipping a hat to tradition, appropriately pushes Bria Skonberg to the forefront of today's musical talents. She has it all—so does this superb recording.


Track Listing: Keep Me in the Back of Your Mind; So is the Day; Hip Check; I Wish I Hadn't Forgotten; Have a Little Heart; Far Away; Penny in Your Pocket; Let Yourself Go; Chilliwack Cheer; Big Yellow Taxi; Gymnopedie; My Friend.

Personnel: Bria Skonberg: trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals; Victor Goines: tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute; Wycliffe Gordon: trombone (1, 9); Michael Dease: trombone (11); Jeff Lashway: piano; Scott Elias: organ (7);Randy Johnston: guitar; Kelly Friesen: bass; Ulysses Owens, Jr.: drums; Roland Guerrero: percussion; John Pizzarelli: guitar, vocals (4).

Record Label: Random Act Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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