Bria Skonberg puts her twist on the standards!
I love good strong melodies, classic lyrics and am inspired by many artists. One of the themes of my new album (With A Twist) is strong women, so I chose songs that were hits for artists like Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Valaida Snow and Sarah Vaughan.
Doing a standard is taking another kind of risk because there are already iconic versions of many of the songs. The challenge is in how to make it your own, in how to retain the character of the song and play it in a style that represents your tastes. I did a lot of covers on the last album but presented them with new twists.
Bria Skonberg on her 2017 release, with an amalgamation of Peggy Lee's "Alright, Okay, You Win" and Quincy Jones' "Soul Bossa Nova"
I hear a lot of new artists discovering classic jazz and interpreting it in a new way. I think that is healthy for jazz which has always been kept alive by new ideas and reflecting the time we live in. There are also many who want to recreate the music exactly as it was and this is being done in the highest level; There is a lot to learn from this experience that will create the foundation to stretch later on.
The most authentic new thing we can give music is ourselves; I like to write songs now, not necessarily complicated, but they tell my story and I'm the only who can tell that story. This is what keeps it new.
Bria Skonberg performing her composition "So Is The Day" from the previous album with the same title