Alex Skolnick Trio | Goodbye To Romance: Standards For A New Generation

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Rock: Extended Jams Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Goodbye To Romance: Standards For A New Generation

by Alex Skolnick Trio

As featured in Downbeat (****1/2), Billboard, Jazziz, Guitar Player and more: High energy jazz versions of classic hard rock/metal tunes from the 70's and 80's by the likes of Kiss, Scorpions, Black Sabbath and more.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Detroit Rock City
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6:30 $0.99
2. Dream On
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5:26 $0.99
3. No One Like You
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7:40 $0.99
4. Goodbye to Romance
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7:21 $0.99
5. Still Loving You
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9:14 $0.99
6. Skol Blues
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8:28 $0.99
7. Pinball Wizard
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7:50 $0.99
8. Ofri
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6:48 $0.99
9. War Pigs
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10:34 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Alex Skolnick Trio, (aka Skol Trio), is a New York based group consisting of guitar, upright bass and drums. This may not seem unusual at first, but upon closer inspection, there are a few things, which set it apart from the many other trios performing in the New York area. One is that the group is fronted by guitarist Alex Skolnick.

In 1992, after several years as a heavy metal guitar hero with Testament, Alex decided to risk it all and devote his life to the process of music closest to his heart: improvisation. Eventually, he ended up in New York City, pursuing a BFA in jazz from New School University (received June 2001). It was here that he met two young twentysomethings: Matt Zebroski (a Pittsburgh Pa. Native who studied with Roger Humphries and Billy Hart) and John Graham Davis (who, in addition to being a working bassist, also runs live sound for the likes of Michael Brecker, John Pattitucci and others).

Another thing that sets this group apart is their choice of repertoire: Skol Trio is performing music that has never before been done in the acoustic trio context. After years of absorbing the songs of the traditional repertoire (such as "All The Things You Are" "Green Dolphin St. etc..."), Alex wondered would happen if he were to take some of the hard rock tunes he listened to in his youth, reharmonize them and open them up to improvisation? Would it be possible to take these songs out of the arena rock shows of the 70's and 80's, and move them into smoky lounges and nightclubs in the new millennium? The result was a most interesting creation: An early 80's hit song by Scorpions turned into a delicate Bossa Nova; a hard rock anthem by Kiss became a tour de force of swing, funk and Latin. And this was just the beginning. The group has gone on to do arrangements of Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, and the Who which, along with a couple of Alex's original compositions, resulted in their debut recording "Goodbye To Romance: Standards For A New Generation (Skol Productions)."

Since then, the Trio have toured throughout the country to packed houses in such places as Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Texas and New York City. They've recently appeared on XM Sattelitte Radio and Fox Morning News in Cleveland and they have been contacted by MTV2 for a possible appearance. Their album was chosen by Zakk Wylde (guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne) as his pick of the month in Guitar World (January, 2003) and have been featured in all the major guitar mags.

"Goodbye To Romance" recently was awarded 4 ½ stars by Downbeat (March, 2003), and has been featured in magazines such as Jazziz (March and April, 2003), Downbeat (February, 2003), Billboard (Jazz Notes; April, 2002), The Village Voice (February 26th, 2003) and more. They've reached #26 on the JazzWeek radio charts (August, 2002) and were listed on Jazziz' Top 50 HitList (November, 2002). Alex and the Trio have performed at such notable music industry conferences as CMJ (New York, NY, 2002) and at SXSW (Austin, TX, 2003).

Alex, Matt and John are representative of many young players today who, at one time, were mainly interested in hard rock before moving on to explore jazz and other styles. In fact, Alex recalls being pleasantly surprised during his first semester at the New School, as one after another of his classmates nervously approached him and confessed to being fans of his during his Testament days, a few even crediting him with being the inspiration for them to start exploring jazz. It goes to show that in today's world, many musicians and fans start in one place and end up somewhere completely different, without ever losing touch with their past. The Alex Skolnick Trio is where the past, present and future come together.


Alex Skolnick, born in 1968, grew up in Berkeley, California. At age nine, a fascination with the rock group Kiss led to a desire to learn guitar. At age sixteen, Alex tried out for a local band called Legacy. Shortly after graduating from high school, he found himself recording his first album with the group, who by this time had changed their name to Testament. What followed were five albums and countless tours with, among others, Megadeth, Slayer, Judas Priest, and White Zombie. Alex received critical acclaim for his lead guitar work, which had been inspired by heroes such Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads.

In the meantime, however, Alex's tastes were changing. An exposure to Miles Davis' electric bands inspired him to push harder to be a serious musician. No longer content to be just a metal player, he began an intense study of many types of music including jazz, funk and world music. In 1990, twenty-one year old Alex was tapped by Guitar World magazine to become a monthly instruction columnist. He has since written for Guitar World, Guitar Player, and Guitar magazines, the latter of which has featured him for over five years. It was around this time that Alex did his first guitar clinic. He has gone on to give guitar clinics across the U.S. and in Europe. In 1991, bassist extraordinaire Stu Hamm chose Alex to handle guitar duties on his national tour, opening the door beyond metal.

Since leaving Testament in 1992, he has blossomed into an artist of profound diversity, going on to perform and/or record with Primus bassist Les Claypool and drummer Brain (currently of Guns'n Roses), Wyndham Hill recording artist Michael Manring, Attention Deficit (w/Michael Manring and Primus drummer Tim Alexander), Savatage, Ozzy Osbourne, keyboardist Adam Holzman (of Miles Davis), Broadway star Rob Evan (Les Miserables and Jeckyl And Hyde) and more. Alex continues to be a featured member of the smash hit holiday show Trans-Siberian Orchestra, performing to sold out crowds across the U.S. as well as appearing in local and national radio and television appearances. He has also become active as a composer; with credits including pieces for the EA video game "Hot Wheels Turbo Racing", the USA Network's broadcast of the 2002 Westminster Dog Show (a big band jazz piece), and the MTV series "Makin' The Band."

Alex has been based in New York City since 1998. Believing that the learning process never ends, he has intertwined all his activities with intensive studies. This has included earning a BFA in jazz performance from New School University, where he studied with master musicians such as Richie Beirach, George Garzone, Hal Galper and Cecil McBee. His playing combines elements of all the styles he enjoys, and his current vision is to continue to record and tour in collaboration with other musicians and as a leader of his own projects.


to write a review


This CD was great! They are all wonderful musicians! The drummer is awesome! This cd is very fresh. It is a must if you sort of dig old hair band rock, but love jazz. They made the songs much better than the originals in my opinion.

Doug Martin

Great concept, greater execution.
I wasn't sure if the concept would work. Reinterpreting rock songs as jazz usually sounds weak and/or cheesy. But Alex Skolnick's reimaginations of these classic rock standards are as ballsy as the originals. "Detroit Rock City" is played with a heavy Wes Montgomery sound, right down to the parallel octaves that the jazz great employed in his own performances. Aerosmith's "Dream On" becomes a rich tapestry of harmonies as Skolnick finds ways to play the melodies and accompaniments that are familiar to the listener, as well as his own reharmonizations. Occasionally overdubbing an extra guitar or adding some distortion keeps the sound from getting too static. On "War Pigs" - the tune I would have thought least likely to translate successfully into jazz - Skolnick's rhythm section drives the song with an intensity like that of Tony Williams and Ron Carter with Miles Davis' quintet. Over the course of ten minutes, the tension builds until Skolnick lets loose with a very metal solo. I may have bought this recording out of curiosity, but I play it for sheer enjoyment.


heavy tues on jazz
I bought this CD purely on the recommendation from the website (CDbaby), and I'm not in any way dissapointed. Heavy tunes from the likes of sabbath, aerosmith played by a great jazz trio. If you've heard Jacques Loussier PlayBach series this is nearly the same, except that the composer here is not J.S.Bach but some well known heavy groups. I didn't know Alex Skolnick, but after hearing this CD I'll go and pick some Testament CD from the nearest store.


WOW! I never knew War Pigs could sound so cool!
I never knew that Skolnick had such a great ability in jazz and improvisation until listening to this great CD. I bought the CD based strictly on name recognition from his work in Testament, and I'm certainly glad I did. Hearing these familiar standards done acoustically, and in lounge style jazz, is incredible. It jolts the senses to realize the music you are hearing is "Pinball Wizard", a song you've heard thousands of times. And the two originals are simply amazing. Three great musicians caught at the top of their game.

Sergio Mattoso - BRAZIL

This CD here worthies the attention for just one reason. These guys here are some of these musicians who have, from time to time, a real..., a mean, a real original idea. It is pretty funny, to say the least, to hear some old rock classics turned into jazz interpretations. I only wish some tracks were not so long and the jazzy spirit were kept all through the record.

Gerry L

Alex Skolnick swings these tunes like a real mother...
I wasn't sure how this would work, but I gotta tell you, these arrangements are cool! I wasn't familiar with all of the originals, so I come to the project with slightly different (older) ears, but I like what I hear. It's refreshing and a good challenge to hear the melody and chord movement in these songs, and I can't wait to hear what he tackles next.


Kick-A** JAZZ!!!!!!
This is one HOT CD! And it's not 'your father's' fact, Alex himself recently quipped, "...There goes the neighborhood!" after receiving 4 1/2 well deserved stars from Downbeat!

Alex, Matt, and John have created a killer disc of metal and 'arena rock' standards that they have completely overhauled with jazz arrangements. The result is magic! From Alex's jazz riffs on the guitar, to Matt's frenetic jazz percussion and John's incredible bass notes these guys are dead on! Get this one - you'll love it! And you'll be eagerly awaiting their next release! (While you're be-bopping to 'Detroit Rock City', don't miss the two dynamite originals 'Ofri' and 'Skol Blues'!!)

Sooooo, here's how to have to fun with this CD....get it, listen to it, absorb it, and love it! THEN, call all your 30-something metalhead cronies and invite them over....pop in the CD and play 'name that tune' their eyes at the second they realize that "...that's War Pigs!!!"! It's a hoot! Then look out as they bolt to your PC to order their own copies!

Finally want to have even MORE fun? Go see these cats LIVE!



Outstanding Jazz performance of Classics! A++++++

Derek Burrowes

Jazz meets metal for all the right reasons.
It’s a big eye opener. I had it playing when Kevin my tallest came in declaring, "I never heard Detroit Rock City played so well" at the end of the CD he took it and loaded it directly onto his iRiver. A great album it deserves to be better known. Jazz meets metal for all the right reasons, a magic piece of music.


great CD and great musicians
Been a fan of Alex Skolnick since the early days.This CD is definitly one of his best work.The guy prove that he is not only a guitar player but a wonderful musician with great sensibility.If you listen to his work through the years-Testament/Savatage/Attention Deficit/this trio plus some guitars compilations (check out this "guitar that rules the world" with Reb Beach,Malmsteen and many others!) realize how open minded he is,and we can really call that a fantastic "evolution".His pulse playing in 7/4 is amazing,and he also show he can be a great compositor as well as a great guitar player.Thanks Alex for great music.
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