Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
Hailing originally from Chilliwack, British Columbia and now headquartered in Brooklyn, trumpeter-vocalist Skonberg led her quartet through an hour-and-a-half set of standards, covers of late ’60s classics and original tunes.
After opening with Harold Arlen’s “Get Happy,” she followed with “Comes Love,” a tune associated with Billie Holiday, and Skonberg established herself as strongly within the jazz tradition. She followed with Joni Mitchell’s “ Big Yellow Taxi” (with scat-like singing of many of the lyrics) and John Lennon’s homage to his mother, “Julia.” “Six More Weeks” was a sultry original featuring Skonberg on vocals.
She then followed the contemporary practice of putting together two songs together. The mash-up of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” with Duke Ellington’s version of “Three Little Words” was lively and fun. Keyboardist Dalton Riderhour was given some solo space, as he performed Eubie Blake’s “Charleston Rag.”
The set ended with Janis Joplin’s homage to materialism, “Mercedes Benz,” and the encore was the old standard, “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”
With one foot planted in jazz tradition and the other exploring new material, Bria Skonberg is moving an old traditional form of jazz forward in her own way. And if you missed her concert at the Van Dyck, you’re in luck – she’s returning to Nippertown
She will be making a return appearance to Nippertown as part of the upcoming fall A Place for Jazz concert series, playing at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady’s Whisperdome on Friday, November 7. Stay tuned for details…