Bria Skonberg, Bria (Okeh)
In her first album for a major label, Bria Skonberg achieves consistency that in the past she sometimes obscured in forced vocal mannerisms. Her trumpet work, based in traditional jazz and swing, includes surprising bebop touches. She has unfailing agility and good tone. With and without a mute, her growl and wa-wa work shows familiarity with Bubber Miley, Rex Stewart and the Ellington brass tradition, nowhere more than in Sidney Bechet’s “Egyptian Fantasy.” Pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Ali Jackson are the first-class rhythm section, joined occasionally by vibraharpist Stefon Harris. Like Skonberg, Evan Amtzen is a native of British Columbia transplanted to New York. He enriches the proceedings with his tenor saxophone and clarinet solos and ensemble work. Of Skonberg’s five original songs, crossover potential of the 16-bar “Wear and Tear,” could take it a long way.