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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Scales’

Called the “SteelPan Jazz Rock Star” by the Caiso Steel Band, Jonathan Scales is brings this traditional Caribbean instrument into the uncharted territories filled with jazz/rock metric complexities for the modern ear. Fresh into a new release of his third album, Character Farm & Other Short Stories, Jonathan Scales tours in Tennessee this May!

The Jonathan Scales Fourchestra is fronted by classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro, Jonathan Scales, who is heavily influenced by the complexity of banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck to the hustle of Jay-Z. Gritty blues guitarist, Duane Simpson, and fusion-chops bassist, Cody Wright, provide the harmonic support for Scales’ sound, while jazz/hip-hop drummer, Phill Bronson, drives the time-shifting, modern grooves. The cast of Characters hold this mind-bending concoction together with jazz edge and classical sensibility.

Come to the Fourchestra’s free ‘teaser’ set at The Basement on Tuesday, May 17th and let yourself boil over in anticipation for Friday the 20th’s show at the French Quarter Cafe, where they play a double bill with Nashville’s own steel pan master, Tony Hartman, and his band The Great Barrier Reefs. The Fourchestra also plays just 45 minutes away in Mufreesboro on Thursday, May 19th.
Character Farm solidifies Jonathan Scales’ place as one of western North Carolina’s most innovative and creative artists. Not only as a performer, but as the composer of all the music on the album, Scales is a groundbreaker,” states The Boone Mountain Times.

The album is a 45-minute dive deeper into the compositionally-twisted work of steel pannist Jonathan Scales. The nine original instrumental “stories” on the album take listeners from the primal Jam We Did to the lush Hallucinations of the Dream Chasers. The title track Character Farm takes the audience into a chilled, ‘worldly’ ride after the frantically emotional The Longest December. Guest appearance on the record include Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews Band / Bela Fleck & the Flecktones), Yonrico Scott and Kofi Burbridge (of Derek Trucks Band fame) and the dazzling work of fiddle virtuoso Casey Driessen.

“Through the album’s countless turns, Scales manages to blend in the very particular sound of steel pan seamlessly with everything from a flute, horn and saxophone to the oft-accompanying electric guitar, all while showing off the easily stereotyped instrument in a new light,” declares Kevin Jones from Exclaim.CA.

Show Details at a Glance:

Tues, May 17 ~ The Basement ~ Nashville

Thurs, May 19 ~ Liquid Smoke ~ Murfreesboro

Fri, May 20 ~ The French Quarter Cafe w/ The Great Barrier Reefs ~ Nashville

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Scales’ created a wonderful  Music Video for the song “Muddy Vishnu” from the album:

“…the visual for steel pan player Jonathan Scales’ “Muddy Vishnu” is almost like a Being John Malkovich set inside Scales’ own world of found rhythms, visions, colors, friends, inspirations and rare silence.” – Alli Marshall, Asheville’s Mountain Xpress


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Photo by Jon Leidel

The steel pan, an amazing musical discovery born in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago, is often times associated with sandy beaches, tropical climates, and cruise ships: that’s not exactly what you get at a show by the jazz-fusion quartet, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. Here you have a classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro (front man Jonathan Scales), heavily influenced by sounds from banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck to rapper Jay-Z, joining forces with a super-solid but sensible Rock & Roll drummer (Ryan Lassiter). Rapid-fire blues guitar (Duane Simpson) and powerfully finessed bass work (Shannon Hoover) hold this concoction together with jazz edge and classical sensibility.
Steel pannist and virtuoso composer, Jonathan Scales, formed the ‘Fourchestra’ in 2007 as a means to deliver his musically complex, but somehow assessable, ideas to anyone willing to listen. Since then, Scales has released two well received, full-length works (2007’s One-Track Mind and 2008’s Plot/Scheme) featuring the likes of Jeff Coffin, Joseph Wooten, and Jeff Sipe. Scales’ versatility and innovative nature has allowed him to share the stage with acts like The Wooten Brothers Band, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, The Duhks, Everyone Orchestra, Toubab Krewe, Ben Sollee, and Futureman.

Check out some great photos by Vikas Nambiar from the last time the Fourchestra played the Double Door:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/musicmagik/3788018782/in/set-72157621815630975/

Here’s what the media has to say about Jonathan Scales Fourchestra:

“…A Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.” –Pan on the net

“At the end of the day, Scales is going to be a major play in rewriting the books on steelpan music outside of the box.” –When Steel Talks

“…rising star of the steel drums…” –Traps Magazine

“…Jonathan Scales makes the pans fit in unconventional musical spaces…” – Modern Drummer

“The innovative Asheville, North Carolina based steel drummer Jonathan Scales brings new vitality to the traditional Caribbean instrument on his sophomore release, picking up where Othello Molineaux left off 20 years ago with Jaco Pastorius.” – JazzTimes

“Jonathan Scales is dropping serious musical conversation. . . Jonathan Scales clearly has something to say – and he is letting his talent and pan instrument do the talking. There are many pretenders, but double second pan player Jonathan Scales is The Real Deal. ” – Pan on the Net

Show Details at a Glance:

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
Double Door Inn
Friday, April 23, 2010

10pm, $10
704-376-1446
1218 Charlottetown Ave
Charlotte, NC 28204
www.doubledoorinn.com

Find Js4 on the Web:

www.jonscales.com
www.myspace.com/jonathanscales
www.reverbnation.com/jonathanscales

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