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Goodbye to Romance (Euro-Release)

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Album Review

Pat Boone's In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy was a tongue-in-cheek affair that few were willing to acknowledge. How else was one to explain a 63-year-old pop singer (who hadn't had any hits for over 30 years) suddenly covering '70s hard rock classics? By contrast, guitarist Alex Skolnick, who had enjoyed considerable success as lead guitarist for Testament and later Savatage, deserves kudos for essentially scrapping his rock & roll career to study, learn, and play jazz. Upon leaving Savatage after Handful of Rain Skolnick enrolled in the jazz department of New York's New School University. It was there that he began to formulate his notion of applying jazz arrangements to hard rock songs by Kiss, Aerosmith, Scorpions, Black Sabbath, and the Who. After all, since pop songs from past decades were accepted into the jazz vernacular and have since become standards, why should rock & roll pieces from the '70s and '80s not be treated similarly? Skolnick has a point. In fact if you hadn't heard the original versions of "Detroit Rock City," "Dream On," and "War Pigs," chances are you'd never suspect that they originated as hard rock songs. While Goodbye to Romance is, by and large, a straight-ahead jazz effort recalling the genius of Wes Montgomery, John McLaughlin, and Stanley Jordan, Skolnick unfurls his former rock & roll-isms on a couple of instances; on both the Ozzy Osbourne-penned title track and the Skolnick original "Skol Blues," he reminds you of his previous lifestyle with some lightning-fast guitar solos, however, more in the lines of McLaughlin than the metal tendencies of Testament. A young, empathetic rhythm section of John Graham-Davis and Matt Zebroski on bass and drums was enlisted to assist Skolnick in his ambitious undertaking. They, too, perform impeccably, contributing dutifully to these "standards for a new generation."


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although he first came to the attention of guitar fans worldwide as a member of thrash metallists Testament, Alex Skolnick has gone on to put his metal days largely behind him in favor of his true love: jazz fusion. Born in 1968 in Berkeley, California, Skolnick's interest in rock music and guitar came about due to his (and a zillion other youths at the time) admiration of glam metallists Kiss. By his late teens, Skolnick was taking lessons from a then-unknown Joe Satriani, before signing on with...
Full Bio
Goodbye to Romance (Euro-Release), Alex Skolnick Trio
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 2002

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