Alex Skolnick Trio
added: 31 Aug 2011
// release date: 29 May 2011 // label: Palmetto
reviewer: Andy Snipper
A lot of modern jazz sounds as though it is unfocused and desperately trying to find a theme but this album has a laser-like intensity of direction – the nearest thing I can relate it to would be Al Di Meola in his prime. Considering Alex Skolnick’s history as lead guitarist with thrash merchants Testament I think this lays to rest the idea that if you can’t play, you play thrash
This album features tracks that were inspired by music and artists familiar to Skolnick and it leads to 11 tracks of remarkable variety and stunningly thematic modern jazz.
This isn’t an album for callow mosh-pit aficionados, the music is heady and intense and leads to the kind of internalising that only the best jazz achieves.
Nathan Peck, swinging between double bass and electric bass with ease, gives a fluid and rhythmic counterpoint to Skolnick’s guitar patterns and Matt Zebroski weighs in with powerful and expressive percussion.
Pick of the crop here are the slightly Arabic sounding ‘Bollywood Jam’ with powerful bass riffery and chiming guitar, the title track which at first glance is plodding but grows on you, gets under your skin and leaves you nodding along with it long after the track has finished and then there is the wonderful ‘Fade To Black’, inspired by the |Metallica number of the same name but having no resemblance otherwise – this is a delightfully gentle and melodic guitar piece with a growling bass line.
Suffice to say that all of the tracks here are already on my playlist – this is top quality modern jazz.
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