Jonathan Scales has released a new live video for his song “The Trap”, featuring acclaimed bassist MonoNeon. The video is currently steaming via No Treble, who describes the the performance “jaw-dropping”. “The Trap” is featured on Jonathan Scales Fourchestra’s most recent album PILLAR, out now via tastemaker label Ropeadope.
Jonathan Scales is redefining and challenging traditional expectations of his signature instrument. In his hands the steel pan – often associated with cruise ships and tropical resorts – is radically expanded to mimic the role of horns, piano, vibraphone or marimba. The exhilerating live performance of “The Trap” showcases Scales’ unmatched virtuosity alongside bass prodigy MonoNeon, known for his eclectic contributions to the jazz/groove group Ghost Note as well as being “Prince’s last bassist.”
Remarking on MonoNeon’s intuitive contribution to the performance, Scales was “amazed at how he could just roll up with no preparation or rehearsal and breathe so much of his own creativity and vibe into my complicated composition. I also love putting multiple bass players on stage at the same time and seeing how they find their space in the music, so it was something special to have MonoNeon & E’Lon JD together….2 nights after this show, we actually had Victor Wooten with us in addition to E’Lon & Mono, all on ‘The Trap’!”
Jonathan Scales’ latest release, PILLAR—his sixth album, and fourth release on taste-maker label Ropeadope—is a testament to the grit and tenacity he possesses, while also serving as an introduction of his new, full-time rhythm battery consisting of bassist E’Lon JD and drummer Maison Guidry. These two formidable young lions hold their own in the company of an incredible cast of special guests, including bassists Victor Wooten, Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company, The Allman Brothers), MonoNeon,
trumpeter Christian Scott, saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band), keyboardist Shaun Martin, percussionist Weedie Braimah and banjo pioneer Béla Fleck. It is the inclusion of Béla Fleck on this record that stands out most notably in context of Scales’ own personal story, and in this regard, PILLAR represents a remarkable victory for the music lover inside of the 33-year-old Asheville, NC based artist.
PILLAR is a record stacked with world-renowned virtuosos performing at the top of their games, which have inspired and encouraged Jonathan Scales to push forward and ultimately come into his own as an artist. Jonathan himself, deeply honored and humbled by his musical heroes’ appreciation and support of his art, describes the album as a culmination of ten years of dedication and hard work, and “…a soundtrack to loss, focus, perseverance and triumph. Like pillars, we stand strong on unsteady ground, weathering life’s storms. Like pillars, we must sometimes be reconstructed and revitalized to withstand the crushing weight of our own worlds.”