Apr 2, 2022
Alex Skolnick has been a guitar hero since the age of fifteen
when he became lead guitarist for the Berkley, CA thrash metal
institution Testament. It’s no wonder: his teacher was none other
than virtuoso Joe Satriani who, in his years as an instructor, also
taught Steve Vai, Charlie Hunter, and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett.
Skolnick has also been a member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and
was named one of the greatest guitarists of all time as well as one
of the fastest guitarists of all time by Guitar World Magazine.
Skolnick also plays world music and jazz that ranges far afield from what he writes with Testament. Since 2000, he has recorded five records of nimble and engaging original work with The Alex Skolnick Trio which is simply fantastic.
Skolnick dropped in to discuss his storied career with Testament, taking the leap into jazz as a metalhead, the cosmic era of Miles Davis, and the jazz group and record that changed his life: Esbjörn Svensson Trio’s Seven Days of Falling.
EST was a piano-double bass-drums trio formed in 1993 that blurred genres, merging classical, rock, pop, and techno into an inimitable sound that broke the conventional boundaries of what modern jazz can be. Seven Days of Falling, recorded in 2003, is considered the group’s most artful work, charting simultaneously on the pop and jazz charts in Sweden, a milestone for an instrumental album.
We paired this singular, beautiful, moody masterpiece with a stark wine like no other: Recaredo Terrers, Brut Nature Cava 2017. This Spanish sparkling wine has been produced in the traditional hands-on manner since 1924, from organic grapes aged five years on the lees (spent yeast cells used in fermentation), giving the wine sumptuous depth. Typically this imbues sparkling wine with yeast and cream flavors but this wine has none of that. Brut Nature indeed, this zero dosage cava (no further wine/sweetening added in the fermentation process) is crisp, clean, and biting, like a white wine razor across the palette.
Guest: Guitarist Alex Skolnick (Testament, The Alex Skolnick Trio)
Album: Essbjörn Svensson Trio, Seven Days of Falling
Wine: Recaredo Terrers, Brut Nature Cava 2017