Currently comprised of composer and bandleader Jonathan Scales (steel drum), Cody Wright (bass) and their newest member, Chaisaray Schenck (drums), the Asheville, NC-based jazz fusion trio Jonathan Scales Fourchestra have become JOVM mainstays since I serendipitously stumbled upon the band when they opened for Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons on an incredibly stifling and humid 98 degree night at Rockwood Music Hall several years ago. And since then, the Asheville, NC-based trio have developed a growing national and international profile for compositions that are gorgeous and frequently cinematic, incredibly complex and nuanced — all while displaying a playful and winking wit. In some way, the compositions sound as though they could be part of the score of a large ensemble comedy like It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but drawing heavily from both bop era jazz, jazz fusion and funk.
Last year was a huge year for Scales, Wright and Schenck as they had a rather extensive tour schedule that had the Asheville, NC-based band play Japan, Europe and across the States. To cap off 2015, the band released some incredible live footage shot during their Asheville Goombay Festival set back in September. Featuring guest performances from Toubab Krewe‘s Justin Perkins and Justin Ray, best known for his work with Michael Buble, this set may be the tightest, most muscular and funkiest set I’ve seen the trio do in quite some time. And if there are two things that you should immediately pick up from this live set it’s this: Jonathan Scales is one of the most inventive, playfully witty and prolific composers in contemporary jazz and Cody Wright, whose sound and technique reminds me so much of the great Jaco Pastorius, is one of the best contemporary bassists around.