Alex Skolnick is probably best known by fellow ESP players as the widely-respected, highly-influential guitarist of Bay Area thrash legends Testament. But there's another direction to Mr. Skolnick's music that very few other metal gods have chosen, and that's his role as an excellent jazz guitarist, heading up the eponymously named Alex Skolnick Trio.
Jazz and jazz fusion are genres that are both bewildering and misunderstood by many metal and hard rock players. However, any guitarist who loves great musicianship and sophisticated performance and composition techniques eventually develops an appreciation of jazz, even if they never undertake the genre for themselves. But many excellent metal players we speak to often at ESP have said that developing an understanding of jazz concepts was a great way to inspire new pathways in their chosen musical styles.
In a new article on the Music Aficionado web site, Alex chooses his top ten jazz albums, and gives detailed reasons why each has its own appeal. This list might be a good launching point for you to also discover some entirely new ways to approach songwriting and guitar playing. Check the list below, and read the article for Alex's detailed notes.
• Joe Henderson – Inner Urge
• John Coltrane – Coltrane Live at Birdland
• Charles Mingus – Ah Um
• Chick Corea – Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
• Sonny Rollins – The Bridge
• Wes Montgomery – The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
• Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil
• Bill Evans – Live at the Village Vanguard
• George Benson – The George Benson Cookbook
Alex's ESP and LTD Signature Series guitars include the ESP Alex Skolnick (in Black Aqua Sunburst with Floyd Rose or Lemon Burst with a TOM bridge) and the LTD AS-1 (also available in Black Aqua Sunburst with Floyd or Lemon Burst with TOM bridge).