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Posts Tagged ‘Steel Pan’

New Video: Kiss From A Rose (Seal Cover) Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra performs Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” on the streets of Asheville, North Carolina.

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Jonathan Scales announced the World Premier of his new video for the song “The Longest December” from the 2011 album “Character Farm and Other Short Stories”

“Scales showcases his dexterity with a searing torrent of par runs on the devious, guitar-tinged The Longest December.” —Exclaim.ca

“Overall, there is a crisp sound to the album as the instrumental stories take shape. The title track Character Farm is a relaxing ride after the darker side of The Longest December takes a steel pan frenzy.” — Sarah Morgan, Atlanta Music Examiner

Get the Character Farm and Other Short Stories at: http://www.jonscales.com/shop.cfm

“The term ‘genius’ is not a platitude I bandy about regularly, but it fits here.  Jonathan Scales is to the steel pans what Bela Fleck is to the banjo or David Grisman is to the mandolin – instrumental innovator and brilliant composer – and his Character Farm & Other Short Stories is a mindbender of pan-driven jazz, with guest spots by Jeff Coffin and Kofi Burbridge.  My favorite record of the year for its sheer virtuosity and pure inventiveness.  It’s unlike anything else I heard in 2011.” —Dave Stallard, Honest Tune

“Character Farm features the churning 6/8 Jam We Did, the slightly-island strut of Science Fair Project, the breakneck steel-drum’n’bass of The Longest December, and Muddy Vishnu, a dynamic tune filled with plot twists reminiscent of The Flecktones’ classic Sinister Minister.” —ROBIN TOLLESON, Bold Life 

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Jonathan Scales Fourchestra “The Longest December”

Directed by Daniel Judson
Theatre lighting director – Erik McDaniel
Band: Phill Bronson – drums. Cody Wright/Michael Libramento – bass. Duane Simpson -Guitar. Jonathan Scales – steel pan
Sound engineering by Michael Hynes
Dancer: Cherry Oh

http://www.jonscales.com

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New Lingua Musica Episode: Erin Scholze from Dreamspider Publicity talks with Jonathan Scales Fourchestra at The Musicians Workshop on Merrimon Ave. in Asheville, NC in July 2011. Daniel Judson filmed and edited this video which is copyright Luminescence LLC 2011 and may be used as long as proper credit is given.
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Jonathan Scales has been called a “…rising star of the steel drums…” by Traps Magazine and “The Real Deal” by Pan on the Net and as having “A Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.” Premier Steel Pan magazine, When Steel Talks states , “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.”

In this episode of Lingua Musica, Jonathan Scales discusses how he came about his style of Steel Pan. Also hear more about his new album, Character Farm & Other Short Stories, which is a 45-minute dive deeper into the compositionally-twisted work. There are nine original instrumental “stories” on the album which transport listeners from the primal Jam We Did to the lush Hallucinations of the Dream Chasers. The title track Character Farm brings 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.  Also, you will meet the cast of Characters that make up the Fourchestra: classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro and front man of the Fourchestra, Jonathan Scales, 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. 

Scales, along with fimmaker Daniel Judson, produced an insightful Music Video for the song Muddy Vishnu; snippets of the music video are shown in the interview. Watching Muddy Vishnu is “almost like a Being John Malkovich set inside Scales’ own world of found rhythms, visions, colors, friends, inspirations and rare silence,” writes Asheville’s Mountain Xpress.

In this episode of Lingua Musica, Scales’s also talks about the album’s comic book-inspired images, designed by Gregory Keyzer, that tie together the musical fusion of his Fourchestra. “There’s a different illustration for every song,” Scales says in an interview with Robin Tolleson in Bold Life. “It’s cool because you can kind of put a visual image with each piece. The album is packaged like a book of short stories, but there’s an overlying theme. The sonic tapestry, mixed with the congruent artwork, really ties the whole thing together. The pictures help people make their judgments about what it’s about and how they feel about it. It’s not complete long form, but it’s closer.”

Character Farm, along with a glossy 19 x 13 poster depicting the custom designed comic book graphics illustrating each song are available at www.jonscales.com.

This video was brought to you by Lingua Musica: Where Music is the Universal Language…


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Here’s a great review of a recent Jonathan Scales Fourchestra show at the Rockwood Music Hall in NYC:

… I was able to catch the Asheville, North Carolina-based genre mashing act, the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, who were ironically enough for this show at least, a trio, and not a quartet. Their material centered on rhythm and percussion as the band was comprised of a steel drummer, a drummer and a bassist. As Scales joked on more than one occasion, you weren’t going to hear some stereotypical calypso covers – or calypso-styled standards. Instead what we all heard was some jazz fusion that at time owed a heavy debt to bands such as Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and several others but with a playful, goofy, mischievous air, while being quite funky. The steel drum played the unusual role of simultaneously setting the melody and rhythm, pulling the song forward, which allowed their drummer to play with unusual and angular jazz syncopation. And to be honest, it was truly novel (which is something I don’t say too often). When Scales mentioned that one of their original compositions was influenced by Mahavishnu Orchestra and Muddy Waters, I was probably the only one who actually knew who he was talking about, and in a way I found that kind of sad. (For some reason Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever have been mostly forgotten and I think that’s fucking shameful. But that’s another issue for another time.) On a certain level, I wasn’t completely convinced that the audience actually got them or their sound – you would be amazed by the lack of sophistication that occurs at live shows across the city – but they certainly won me over. I found myself intrigued by their unique sound and I hope to see them in town sometime soon.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE and SEE PHOTOS HERE: http://thejoyofviolentmovement.tumblr.com/post/8566415853/the-jonathan-scales-fourchestra-and-joe-fletcher-and

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Photo by Bren Dendy. Illustrations by Gregory Keyzer.

Jonathan Scales played the Elbo Room in Chicago last Saturday. Here is a review from SouthSide on the Town.

[Jonathan Scales] combined the best of two music worlds – the ultra smooth sounds of jazz rhythms and vibrant energy of rock with the cool taste of the Caribbean into a deliciously sounding performance. This unique attraction not only captivated this reviewer’s attention but the entire audience as well. Steel pannist Jonathan Scales brought his rockin’ Fourchestra band (however it was a trio for his Elbo Room appearance) and its rockin’ music that featured intricately woven melodies and notes off his steel drums and the lively momentum of rock and jazz together. Throughout the opening set, this oddly mesh of sounds and rhythms retained a pleasurable vibe as well as a danceable groove for anyone adventurous enough to do so.

SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed hearing such creative floetry within Jonathan’s epic yet poetic compositions in which, if listened closely, one could hear the fierce intensity (and at times, emotionally charged) “vocals” within the lyrics even though there weren’t any actual lyrics to be humanly sung. That was, in SouthSide’s opinion, the beauty of this artist’s music. It was an awe-inspiring experience for this reviewer to hear the “lyrics” spoken directly (and indirectly) amongst the instruments during certain points of his songs. For example, during one particular song, she could vividly hear the fiery “spoken” words between the drum kit versus the steel drums and bass combined and then vice versa drums (steel and percussion) versus bass.

She also enjoyed another particular song featuring an interesting combination of sudden/abrupt dramatic bursts and pauses that grabbed her immediate attention. Jonathan’s rhythmic island/jazz/rock sound was dazzling …spellbounding that no one in the basement lounge dared move a muscle until the performance concluded.

SouthSide highly recommends spending your warm summer nights amidst the cool rockin’ sounds of this island-jazz breeze by Jonathan Scales. And just a small reminder, blogspot readers, he doesn’t do Jimmy Buffet songs. Visit http://www.jonscales.com for more information and music by this artist and his Fourchestra.

Read the full review here: http://southsideonthetown.blogspot.com/2011/07/02-jul-11.html

The band also interviewed on Fearless Radio before their show that evening. Listen to the full podcast of the interview at this link: http://fearlessradio.com/index.php/new-music-binge/2832-jonathon-scales-fourchestra-070211.html

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Jonathan Scales is offering a free download of a song off his new album “Character Farm and Other Short Stories.”

Character Farm is available at http://www.jonscales.com along with a glossy 19 x 13 poster depicting the custom designed comic book graphics illustrating each song with artwork by Gregory Keyzer.

Jonathan Scales: “The Trap” featuring Casey Driessen

Scales states, “I wrote ‘The Trap’ for a performance that I felt obligated to do (hence the name). I didn’t know all the details about the event but they asked me to compose a piece using those first 8 notes. In hindsight, the jaggedness of the melody was probably a hidden form of rebelling against this show that I didn’t initially want to do. But we played ‘The Trap’ at the event and got a standing ovation! At that point I went into the studio and recorded the track to be added to the album. Glad it all happened!”

Artwork for "The Trap" by Gregory Keyzer.

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I am thrilled to announce jazz/ rock Steel-Pannist Jonathan Scales is touring around his album release with a few shows opening up for classically trained pop cellist Ben Sollee this June!

Ben Sollee is a genre-bending cellist and vocalist who released his new album “Inclusions” on May 10th. Armed with a cello, Sollee is canvassing the country, sometimes by bicycle, imploring folks to rediscover the connections between music, art, film, dance, their community, and personal relationships. American Songwriter states, “Inclusions is a thoughtful and thoroughly imaginative album about what a huge and complicated undertaking it is to truly relate to other human beings, what with all our mismatches in expectations and differences in background, experience and belief.”

Jonathan Scales has been called a “…rising star of the steel drums…” by Traps Magazine, while Pan on the Net refers to him as “the Real Deal” and having “A Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.”  When Steel Talks sums it up with, “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.” Like Sollee, Scales is also touring around a new release “Character Farm & Other Short Stories” which features guest appearances by Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews Band/Bela Fleck & the Flecktones), Yonrico Scott & Kofi Burbridge (of Derek Trucks Band), and 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 Exclaim.CA.

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Jonathan Scales and his Fourchestra will be opening for Sollee on:

Friday, June 3 ~ Old Rock House ~ St. Louis, MO
Saturday, June 4 ~ White Rabbit Cabaret ~ Indianapolis, IN
Sunday, June 5 ~ 20th Century Theater ~ Cincinnati, OH

Click the Pics to Get the Albums Today:

Ben Sollee Inclusions

Jonathan Scales Character Farm and Other Short Stories



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