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Bria Skonberg: Bria

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One can’t evaluate an album according to what it isn’t. Still, it’s hard to evade the fact that Bria, trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg’s fourth offering, lacks the playful energy of its predecessors, like 2014’s Into Your Own. (No wah-wah trumpet, no singing Jelly Roll Morton into her horn, no Stevie Wonder or Led Zeppelin mash-ups here.) Instead, Skonberg has made a subtler, more sophisticated record that pushes her away from “hot jazz” and in the direction of traditional pop.

In other words, Skonberg’s singing takes the spotlight. Her whispery, sultry voice is a solid instrument, palpably warm on “You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me” and remarkably expressive on “Midnight Sun.” She’s disciplined, too, maintaining an even keel on the giddy klezmer exercise “Curious Game.”

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