Known Johnson

March 14, 2007

Overlooked Alternatives: Metheny/Mehldau, Alex Skolnick Trio

Filed under: Music,News,Overlooked Alternatives — Tom @ 10:06 am

Like the Batman, Overlooked Alternatives scans the skies for the beacon of need – new music that might otherwise go unnoticed by someone out there. This week the beacon highlights two jazz releases – one that’s going to be big and another of which metal fans might want to take note.

Metheny/Mehldau – Quartet: Hot on the heels of their fantastic duos (mostly) album, the pair return with the rest of the sessions recorded in December 2005, the majority of these being a flip-flop of the previous album: this is a quartet recording with Mehldau’s trio of Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums (the previous album only featured the quartet on two tracks while this features the quartet on all but a couple.) I expect that Quartet will quickly shoot to the top of my jazz list this year just like Metheny/Mehldau did last year. Get in on these now – you’re going to want to know these well because they’re going to be talked about for a long, long time. Instant classics.

Alex Skolnick Trio – Last Day In Paradise: Testament’s Practice What You Preach was a big part of my youth and it was in part due to guitarist Alex Skolnick’s amazing guitar playing. Skolnick left the band – and metal, in general – behind in the mid-90s to pursue his love of jazz. He’s still pursuing that love and this week releases this album of mostly new songs with three covers of hard rock songs – Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”, Ozzy’s “Revelation (Mother Earth)”, a new, apparently Spanish-influenced take on “Practice What You Preach” (“Practica Lo Que Predicas”). Should be a fun release.

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