Alex Skolnick Trio – Veritas (2011)

This is a vibrating, soulful, jazz-rock fusion album. I admit, I didn’t follow Skolnick’s career for long-long time. Back at the end of the 80s, beginning of the 90s, I loved Testament, but I never was a fan of the so-called guitar heroes. In 1993, after 10 years thrashing, he left Testament and he joined briefly Savatage, the Stu Hamm band, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, made a guest appearance on Lamb of God’s “Ashes of the Wake” album. Skolnick fronted several projects in the Bay Area during the mid to late 1990s, such as Alex Skolnick and the Skol-tones, Exhibit-A and Skol-Patrol and also recorded two albums with Attention Deficit, a 3-piece featuring Tim Alexander from Primus.
Relocated to New York, began devoting all of his energies to jazz, enrolling in the jazz program at The New School and earned a BfA (class of 2001). At the New School where Alex Skolnick Trio was born. Their first recording, “Goodbye To Romance:Standards For A New Generation” (2002 US, 2004 UK and Europe) brought together the worlds of metal and traditional jazz in an unprecedented blend. ‘Goodbye To Romance…’ reached the top 30 on the US jazz radio charts.  Next release came in 2004 “Transformation”, followed by “Last day In Paradise” in 2007. He’s band mates are Nathan Peck – upright bass (who joined in 2003 to replace John Davis) and drummer Matt Zebroski.

“Veritas” consist of 10 songs and one remix – by the way, a powerful version of “Bollywood Jam”, it’s a mainly acoustic work which blending nicely jazz and rock elements, but “99-09” contains bebop and funk elements as well. There’s also a colorful cover of Metallica’s classic “Fade To Black”. Somehow I never thought about Skolnick as a jazz musician, perhaps their efforts are a little bit kind of too conformist, maybe it’s too classy and far not enough experimental, but definitively it’s an interesting material, and there’s a few quite delightful highlights. Skolnick have a good taste for airy arrangements, each instrument have enough space to fill and color, they shifting tempos and changing moods perfectly and keeping a nice groove alive.

Alex Skolnick – Official Site


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