If you’ve attempted to keep up with the news cycle in recent years, then Conundrum (Palmetto/MRI), the title of the Alex Skolnick Trio’s new album, should be a no-brainer. “It represents the sense of confusion many of us are feeling in the midst of the strangest sociopolitical upheavals of our lifetimes,” says Skolnick, the guitarist and composer who helped define thrash metal as a founding member of Testament, before establishing himself on the international jazz scene. “This album captures many styles in an effort to channel that angst into art and inspire others to do likewise.”
Skolnick is both an original member of Bay Area thrashers Testament (which he joined at age sixteen) and a respected New York improviser of multiple styles.
Emerging as one of the original melodic thrash guitarists (alongside Marty Friedman), Alex later moved to New York and earned a BfA in Jazz from The New School, studying with such prestigious artists as George Garzone, Cecil McBee and Reggie Workman.
Now a longtime resident of Brooklyn New York, he has gone on to release several critically acclaimed albums with the Alex Skolnick Trio, described as thus by jazz journalist Bill Milkowski: “Skolnick runs the guitaristic gamut from lush chord melodies to Wes Montgomery-style octaves to screaming Sonny Sharrock-esque skronking” (Downbeat Jan 2017).
Though he’s pretty much a household name in heavy metal, Alex defies categorization by musical genre.” (Making Music, Jan 2015).