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Alex Skolnick Trio: Last Day in Paradise

Considering that guitarist Alex Skolnick made his name in the thrash-metal band Testament, and that his current trio is known primarily for putting jazz arrangements to hard-rock classics, this album is disarmingly subtle. Yes, there are tunes by Rush and Ozzy Osbourne in there, but seven original tunes showcase Skolnick’s own moody but not overly serious musings and a generally friendly sound. Drummer Matt Zebroski provides most of the energy, his aggressive swing perfectly balanced between jazz and rock, while Skolnick rolls with a bright, warm, understated tone.

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