Guitarist Alex Skolnick isn't the first name to come to mind when pondering the genesis of the next generation of jazz standards. After all, Skolnick is best-known as the guitarist for metal band Testament, not exactly renowned for employing many Major 7 or Flat 13 chords. But Skolnick has paid his dues, studying jazz, shearing off his metal locks and replacing them with a woodshed full of jazz licks. His "Standards for a New Generation" features Skolnick and his trio -- bassist John Graham Davis and drummer Matt Zebroski -- interpreting metal and hard rock tunes in the jazz context. Don't laugh -- these guys can really play. This is no jazz fusion trip, either; Skolnick plays a hollow-body guitar with a mellow jazz tone throughout, and his bandmates are "monsters," as they say in the business.
It's doubtful that Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" will replace "Stella by Starlight" or "Cherokee" as a new jazz standard of choice. But Skolnick and his bandmates have made a nervey, self-assured entry in the modern jazz canon. See them at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in Broadway Joe's, 3051 Main St. Call 836-9555.
-- Jeff Miers