Scales Brothers – Our House

Enja Records

8. September 1997
Scales Brothers
Enja Records
Number of discs: 1
Liner Notes by Peter O’Mara

The first time I heard of the Scales Brothers was at a jazz workshop in Bielefeld where I was teaching in 1987. It was hard to believe that musicians could have a name like that! We spent a week talking about music and playing together and I remember being very impressed by their talent and modesty. I also remember thinking at the time that I would be hearing from them again. Sure enough, 2 years later I was approached by Martin, who asked me if I would like to play a few gigs with the brothers‘ group, to which I readily agreed. We had a lot of fun on those 2 nights!

Later on, I got to know their parents, Brigitte and Bob, two of the nicest people I have ever met. After coming to Germany from Britain in the early 60’s, the Scales eventually moved to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Bavarian Alps. Patrick („65) and Martin (’67) grew up listening to their father’s jazz records.

Living in the proximity of a US Army base, the Scales Brothers were exposed to professional musicians firsthand. One of them was Bob’s friend Wayne Martin, an outstanding musician from New Zealand. At 14, Patrick decided he wanted to play electric bass and with Wayne’s guidance was already playing in a band at the army base after only 6 months. Martin took up guitar soon after and would also occasionally sit in on gigs. Says Patrick…“ I was playing Rock and Country music 4 nights a week with musicians twice my age, but always falling asleep at school. After 6 months I had to stop and concentrate more on my studies.“

For the next years, the brothers kept playing on and off at US Servicemen’s clubs in southern Bavaria. After graduating from high school, an opportunity arose for Patrick and Martin to travel to Austin, Texas, where they spent a few months taking in the scene. There were a lot of clubs featuring all sorts of music, including jazz. This was the first taste they got of live jazz and, upon returning to Germany, the brothers decided to dedicate themselves to it.

Around 1987 they met saxophonist Johannes Enders and formed a band with The group’s material featured some Miles Davis tunes but also originals by Enders and Martin Scales. The brothers also had a Funk/Pop group featuring singers Paulo Alves and Ronnie van Lankeren. It was through Paulo that they were introduced to Brazilian music, which became a special love.

1989 brought a move to Munich, where Patrick and Martin gradually established themselves on the music scene, playing in a wide variety a of situations including Blues, Latin, Salsa, Funk, Fusion, and Straight-ahead Jazz. During the following 5 years, new musical friendships were formed with Falk Willis, Alessandro Ricciarelli, Roberto di Gioia, Wolfgang Haffner, Lygia Campos, Claudio Wilner Guido May, Adrian Mears, Peter Wrba, and others.

In early 1991 Martin took off to New York for a 6-month stay where he took in a lot of new music as well as studying at the New School with guitarists Vic Juris and Jay Azzolina. He also concentrated more and more on developing his skills as a writer. Meanwhile, Patrick, still in Munich, was consolidating his work-scene and accumulating experience, including the experimental group „Brother Virus“, which recorded a CD live at the Knitting Factory in New York (also available on ENJA).

By 1993, the brothers had re-formed their group with Johannes Enders. The group, now called „Scalesenders“ and including drummer Falk Willis and pianist Stefan Schmidt, soon had enough material for a CD, „This And More“.

The band made a positive impression on many musicians, including Klaus Doldinger, who asked Patrick to join his group „Passport“ in 1994. Around that time, the brothers met percussionist Biboul Darouiche. Originally from Camerun, Biboul brought a wealth of African sounds and rhythms to the Munich scene. Listening to some of the material on the present CD, one can hear his influence.

In early 1995 Martin set off for Rio, Brazil, where he spent a few months gathering musical inspiration. Here he met Rodrigo Lessa, the composer of „Sambajara“, to whom he was introduced by singer Lygia Campos. The last few years have been a period of rapid musical development for Patrick and Martin, who have proved to be formidable musicians, at home in a lot of different situations.

This brings us to now: The Scales Brothers did several recording sessions with musicians that became, and still are, an important part of their lives. The result is this CD, which is a musical round-the-world trip. „Our House“ is an expression of their openness to many styles of music and of their achievement as musicians, composers, and arrangers. It is also a tribute to the people who have helped them on their way so far.


Martin Scales – guitar
Patrick Scales – bass
Biboul Darouiche – percussion, vocals
Adrian Mears – trombone
Roberto DiGioia – piano
Alessandro Ricciarelli  – acoustic guitar
Wolfgang Haffner – drums
Falk Willis  – drums
Guido May – drums
Claudio Wilner – percussion
Lygia Campos – vocals
Lilian Viera – vocals
Viviany de Godoy – vocals
Paulo Alves – vocals
Ronnie van Lankeren – vocals

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