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Alex Skolnick Trio

The Alex Skolnick Trio was born in 2001. A former heavy metal guitar hero with the San Francisco based group Testament, Alex had decided to leave the Bay Area, move to New York, soak up the jazz scene and go back to school to earn his music degree from New School University. It was here that he met a young drum prodigy named Matt ‘Zebar’ Zebroski who, as it turned out, had been a Testament fan as a youth in Pittsburgh.

The two began rehearsing regularly with a bassist, practicing standards and reviewing homework assignments. Around this time, Alex had a dream in which he hea ...read more

The Alex Skolnick Trio was born in 2001. A former heavy metal guitar hero with the San Francisco based group Testament, Alex had decided to leave the Bay Area, move to New York, soak up the jazz scene and go back to school to earn his music degree from New School University. It was here that he met a young drum prodigy named Matt ‘Zebar’ Zebroski who, as it turned out, had been a Testament fan as a youth in Pittsburgh.

The two began rehearsing regularly with a bassist, practicing standards and reviewing homework assignments. Around this time, Alex had a dream in which he heard a beautiful melody played as bossa nova and upon waking up, realized it was 'No One Like You' by the 80s hard rock band The Scorpions. When he brought the idea to the other guys, there was a certain absurdity to the idea.

Could a tune that was originally performed with distorted guitars, electric bass and a drum set the size of a spaceship translate to archtop guitar, upright bass and a drum kit small enough to carry on the New York Subway System? With a chuckle, they thought they’d give it a try and quickly realized they’d hit upon a magic formula. This tune felt as natural as any jazz standard, except that the melody was engrained in their souls from years of listening. Within a few weeks, the trio had versions of Kiss, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, the Who and more, as well as original compositions and were covering a wide range of musical styles: swing, funk, latin and occasional moments of sheer metal/avant garde intensity.

Their debut recording Goodbye To Romance: Standards For A New Generation (Skol Productions) was released in March 2002. Less than a month later, an entire column was devoted to the album in Billboard (Jazz Notes; April, 2002). Within a year, Goodbye To Romance had been awarded 4 ½ stars by Downbeat (March, 2003) , was featured in magazines such as Jazziz (March and April, 2003), The Village Voice (February 26th, 2003) and more, had reached #26 on the JazzWeek radio charts (August, 2002) and was listed as a "Top Seller" on the on-line retail site CDBaby. Alex and the Trio performed at such notable music industry conferences as CMJ (New York, NY, 2002) and at SXSW (Austin, TX, 2003) and toured throughout the country to packed houses in such places as Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Texas, New York City and the Rochester International Jazz Festival. They’ve appeared live on XM Sattelitte Radio, Fox Morning News, Brother Wease, and many other radio stations including WNEW (New York), WCPN (Cleveland) and WGMC (Rochester).

In Sep 2003, bassist Nathan Peck was brought in to replace the departing John Davis, who had left to form an indy rock band. Nathan grew up with Matt in Pittsburgh and has played bass for such notable jazz musicians as Maynard Ferguson and Maria Maldaur. The new trio line up clicked immediately and soon embarked upon the Guitarevolution tour, sharing the bill with ex-Megadeth guitarists Marty Freidman and Chris Poland in a series of West Coast dates, winning over the primarily rock and metal fans in the audience. The next few months were spent honing the tunes for the next trio release, expected in Spring ’04. While this album will contain 50% original compositions, it will also continue the concept of the first album, with arrangements of music by Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Pink Floyd and more, most of which have been thoroughly road tested by the boys. 2004 promises to be an exciting year for the trio.

Current members.

* Alex Skolnick – guitar (2001-present. * Nathan Peck – upright bass (2003-present. * Matt Zebroski – drums/percussion (2001-present.

Past members.

* John Davis – upright bass (2001-2003.

Songs.

The Trio is known for performing songs written by bands of the Classic rock and Heavy metal variety - what they call "modern standards". They have covered portions of, or the entirety of the following songs, in concert or on record.

Tom Sawyer, The Trooper, Iron Man (Western Sabbath), Highway Star, Practica lo que predicas (Testament’s Practice What You Preach), Goodbye to Romance, Detroit Rock City, Still Loving You, Don’t Talk to Strangers, Dream On, No One Like You (which appears twice on the UK version of their debut album, once as a studio recording, and as a bonus last track from a live show), War Pigs, Electric Eye, Money, Blackout, and Pinball Wizard.

Since their first album, the Trio has shifted to a direction that includes more original material, as half the songs on their second album are original compositions, and only three are covers on their third album.

The Trio has covered 3 Scorpions songs to date, and bandleader Alex has called them "our Rodgers and Hammerstein".

Notable Concerts.

The Trio performed for the first time in New Zealand at the G-TARanaki Guitar Festival in July 2008. Alex was also included in an historic jam session at Vernon Reid’s Puke Ariki "Midnight Session" performance alongside Gilby Clarke and Uli Jon Roth.

In 2010 they toured as a support act for Rodrigo y Gabriela « hide

Similar Bands: Attention Deficit, Cosmosquad, The Aristocrats, Niacin, Tony MacAlpine

LPs
Veritas
2011

3.9
5 Votes
Last Day In Paradise
2007

4.2
5 Votes
Transformation
2004

4
3 Votes
Goodbye To Romance
2002

3.4
2 Votes
EPs
Mercury Retrograde
2007

Contributors: Deviant., tempest--, Jom, tempest--,

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