Artist: Alex Skolnick Trio
Label: Magnatude Records
Release Date: 9/14/2004
Guitarist Alex Skolnick has returned with another unique CD that takes well-known Heavy Metal standards and converts them into jazz compositions. Many will immediately recognize Mr. Skolnick from his stellar guitar work in Testament years ago as well as his work with Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s East Cost touring company. At first listen you might not recognize some of the tunes until a signature riff or key chord comes into play. I admit that even I took additional listens to it making sure I was in the mode of what the group was trying to deliver. This is really a well-done piece and the level of musicianship from Alex alone makes it worth picking up. While I am not a scholar of the jazz guitar, it certainly shows the skill Alex has and he really placed some effort into making this an interesting CD.
Continue reading “Transformation” by Alex Skolnick Trio
Artist: Chris Caffery
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Alex Skolnick Trio, ZO2
Label: Black Lotus Records
Savatage’s own Chris Caffery was onstage once again and this time it would not be with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Supporting his debut solo CD “Faces”; Chris would be joined by his band and be kicking some serious Hard Rock ass tonight. Here’s how it all went down at this show which was billed as “It’s All Good”. The title held in back of it the fact that all of the featured bands would have players that are in some fashion associated with the holiday juggernaut that is the TSO in some fashion. It was a great idea but you really had to understand the logic behind this mini festival of friends before going in. If you had reservations about it you clearly did not get the point that they were trying to make. The roster for the night would be Steve Broderick, Katrina Chester, Z02, Alex Skolnick Trio and Chris Caffery.
Continue reading Chris Caffery @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/28/2005)
Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Venue: Madison Square Garden NYC
For several years now, I have made the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra a Holiday tradition. It is a show that I look forward to each time it makes it’s way to New York. In the past, the scene had been the Beacon Theater but this time it would be the famous Madison Square Garden. A sold out show with just over 13,000 fans in attendance. I wanted to point out that they always start out with a donation to a charity based on $1 from every ticket sold. An admirable act and one worth mentioning. This year would hold the most visible changes for the TSO as “Diamond” Darryl Pediford had passed away just before the tour was to begin. In addition, two other male vocal leads would not be present. On the upside, this year marked the return of Alex Skolnick on guitar and Mee Eun Kim on keyboards.
Continue reading Trans-Siberian @ Madison Square Garden (12/27/2004)