Testament To The Strangely Perfect Convergence Of Heavy Metal And Jazz

04/12/2011
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(Gibson) In a new interview, Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick is speaking about the strangely perfect convergence of heavy metal and… jazz.

Skolnick, who joined thrash metal band Testament at age 16 and toured with Judas Priest, Megadeth, White Zombie and Slayer, now serves as ringleader of jazz group the Alex Skolnick Trio. Their newly released fourth album, Veritas, includes nine original tracks, along with a cover of Metallica's "Fade to Black."

Skolnick recalled to Spinner.com the moment that jazz first impacted him. "When we recorded the third Testament album, we did it at the Fantasy Studios in Berkeley," said Skolnick. "I remember being on break and hearing the most amazing saxophone playing I've ever heard in my life. It was scary it was going so many places. I hadn't been that blown away since I heard Eddie Van Halen do 'Eruption.' I had my ear to the door of this studio and I didn't know who was inside, or whether it was even a live band."

What was playing on the other side of that door? John Coltrane's Live at Birdland. Later, Miles Davis and others would influence Skolnick as well, leading him to leave Testament behind to enroll in the Jazz Performance Program at the New School in New York. more on this story

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