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A Vision Matured
Posted by: badinplaid737 from: San Antonio, TX on
Alex Skolnick has been creating music for over 20 years. His credits include performing with such diverse acts as Bay Area thrash pioneers Testament as well as Savatage, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. With all that rock and metal cred, the project that is dearest to his heart is the modern bebop jazz trio that bears his name. Since the release of their debut album, Goodbye to Romance, Alex has forged ahead with a unique and modern vision of improvisational jazz. Their newest release, Veritas, clearly shows their most mature and sophisticated effort to date.
The Alex Skolnick trio first gained notoriety by reinterpreting modern rock and heavy metal songs as a modern take on be-bop. With each succeeding release original songs gradually replaced these covers, with Veritas containing but one cover, Metallica’s Fade to Black. It is with these inventive compositions where Alex and his band mates, Matt Zebroski on drums and Nathan Peck on upright and electric bass, stretch their wings and challenge the listeners notion of modern jazz.
On Veritas, the Alex Skolnick Trio takes the listener on a musical journey that demonstrates just how diverse the musical universe can be. The opening tracks, Panna and Bollywood Jam, are an amazing point/counterpoint of musical influence from India, where a traditional take on Ravi Shankar is followed by a driving and upbeat melody heavily influenced by the work of A.R. Rahman. This combination grabs you from the outset and lets you know that this disc will take you on a musical journey that you might not have been expecting.
Each song on the disc is fresh and inviting. Song of the Open Road, Flection and The River Lethe demonstrate great improvisational jazz grounded by Nathan Peck’s upright bass lines while 99/09 features a tasty funk feel on top of Matt Zebroski’s dazzling percussion. Alex takes it down a notch with the ethereal and introspective song, Alone in Brooklyn, to which he plays homage to A.I.R.’s Alone in Kyoto from the Lost in Translation soundtrack. From top to bottom this album makes jazz accessible to a new audience
While Alex enjoys a reputation as a Joe Satriani disciple, don’t expect a shred-fest. With the Alex Skolnick Trio, and especially on this disc, you will find one of the freshest sounds around. Jazz is no longer out on the fringes, with the recent successes of Rodrigo y Gabriella and Esperanza Splading paving the way, The Alex Skolnick Trio are creating standards for a new generation.
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