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Jonathan Scales -- Just some simple math & music education for the people!

Just some simple math & music education for the people!
(alongside my heroes Jeff Coffin, Futureman Roy Wooten, & Jay White)

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This video confirms for me why TRINIDAD PAN MEN should just leave the JAZZ TING alone and stick to playing what they know best: CALYPSO!!!!

Oh please Claude…you know better than that...

Read your heart out and then show me ONE TRINIDAD PAN MAN even close to this ball park.


that's the problem right here Claude…was Trane better than Miles?…was Monk better than McCoy Tyner?…everybody brings whatever they bring to the table…So are you saying that Scales is better than Boogsie too?…I have met him in person and he is so overawed by Trini panmen that I'm sure he won;t agree with you...

The first time I heard Jonathan Scales play the pan I was overwhelmed. I knew nothing about him but I knew instantly that I was listening to a MUSICIAN (and not a PANMAN) who had a vast background in music. To me, it was like he was playing in slow motion walking along a library wall full of music and casually picking out notes from this vast reference section. I had never heard that aura come from the pan. I was so impressed that I got his email address and told him how great I thought he was and I suggested that he blend a little calypso into one of his future compositions. He was gracious and we exchanged a couple more emails. (This just reminds me that I should contact him again and push him towards a CALYPSO HYBRID. But he so big now he may not have time to respond to me.)

As I looked at his news website today, I am not surprised that he is touring the world demonstrating the pan for all to see.

Merrytones: When I used the term "ball park" I was talking about the TOTAL PACKAGE that is required to get a performing artiste in front of global audiences. And just to let you (for the most part) American Musicians are very FREE WITH THE COMPLIMENTS ... Trinidadians does get tie up with that because we come from a different culture.

Now all of the posting above was said with a soft, gentle and friendly voice. You misread one of my tones recently (my timbre) and if I had feelings they woulda been hurt. LOL. And what you don't know about me is that I would like to see a TRINIDADIAN ( Not even a TOBAGONIAN -- a BORN TRINIDADIAN) doing what Johnathan Scales and Andy Narell are doing with PAN around the VAST GLOBE.

"I knew instantly that I was listening to a MUSICIAN (not a PANMAN)"…really Claude…?

I repeat…everybody brings something different to the table..and I wonder if  you have heard some of the real good stuff that T&T has to offer in recent times…I will never be into the comparison thing...I met Scales personally at a workshop he did while in Trinidad two years ago and his style is indeed quite different to our Calypso, Pan Jazz, whatever you want to call it…his music training was on classical Saxophone to begin with, he is not exposed to our thing and he told me that he doesn't even play jazz standards repertoire. His hero in music is Bela Fleck who is an exponent of Bluegrass music…Listen to Fleck and his band the Flecktones when you get a chance and see the similarity in style…

There is no one locally to compare Scales with…he is indeed original…your initial statement sounds very "crab in a barrell" and yuh vex meh bad bad...

It is my opinion that Claude just like to rub people the wrong way, he enjoys making people angry and no one ever taught him that if you cannot say something good say nothing at all, or do not criticize if you have no solutions to offer, I am trying to watch my words and not be like him so I will end now.  

I'm not atall angry Caesar…I know Claude only too well…he is a good soul…deep below his sometimes mischievous facade…lol


At the risk of you giving me a concussion like the one you gave my boy Merrytones I have to ask this question.

Is a Calypsonian a musician? 

Outside of Sparrow, Barron and Designer is there a living Calypsonian that can actually sing?


Bugs: Ah decided to leave this topic alone because I saw the complexity of the issues and realized it will get very MUDDY. Your question right here crossed my mind yesterday and made me realize how complicated the discussion is and how easy it may spin off  into incomprehensible and antagonist positions. I have been involved in this particular argument for over 40 years so I am sure that I can pull some cards from under my sleeves to defend my position. But it is all too muddled, really.

Now, to answer your question. When George Victory lived in New York and he went to the studios to put down guitar parts or produce some record for some calypsonian and he dragged me along with him, he would scornfully say to me after the recording:: Dem calypsonians don't know nothing about music. And I saw it first hand myself even without having the technical understanding. I could give more examples outside of his testimony but it is all too muddled.

My answer to your first question is NO!!!

However, I have seen DAVID RUDDER live in a rehearsal working with a foreign band (White Band) and I concluded that DAVID RUDDER is a musician. I am not going to get into more details than that.

My answer to your second question: I will cross Barron and Designer off that list. But the answer to your second question is NO!!!

One modification to my first answer is that although the CALYPSONIANS are not MUSICIANS they are performing artistes and they have access to the best MUSICIANS in the business who carry them on their backs musically.

The calypso angle to this topic is quite daunting. Anyways, I think I answered you with giving you a concussion. Now I have to go catch up on all the other responses. I was hoping that this topic was going to die and we move on ,,, but since Trinidad cyar win no medals in the olympics ah might as well read the rest of the responses.Well we sure to get GOLD TOMORROW. But yuh eh see ah Trini win ah GOLD MEDAL for AMERICA -- as if dey eh have enough gold medal. Anyway, Rudy say we cyar talk about basketball and sports on the forum and I am an obedient fellah

Merrytones: If you saw me as putting up a "crab in a barrel" post then you have missed my entire CONSTANT ARGUMENT on this forum. How many times have I asked the question: "Where is the music?" in so many shapes. I know that the calypso fusion with JAZZ or R&B is a gold mine for some Trinidad composer. And I have been waiting to see that performing/recording artiste emerge and deliver that product TO THE WORLD in my lifetime -- just like Andy Narell has done and Johnathan Scales is doing in their own way. Until you all put that artiste on that stage and I could start reading about him (or her) and hearing the music and visiting the website -- it's just all cultural emotionality. I could give you 10 reasons why that has not happened yet and why it will NOT HAPPEN in my lifetime. In one of the iterations of this discussion Cecil Hinkson opened my eyes to the reality that when it happens the artiste will most likely be a TRINI-NEW YORKER which I had not considered. But which I now hold to be true.

How many times have I called out to Salmon Cupid to put a E-Pan band together and start putting the music out there. He has the best platform for a jump-start in my books. But that is another discussion. I have supported the PAN and the MUSIC for decades and I would love to see the music presented to the world and accepted by the world -- despite all my banter.

And speaking of opening up another can of worm regarding the music ... do you think that it was by any coincidence that PAN TIMES put up that JOHNATHAN SCALES "educational" video so soon after the PAN-JAZZ posting?

Then explain your remark "listening to a Musician (not a Panman)"…if you don't mind...


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