Scott Amendola Trio with Jeff Parker on guitar, and Paul Bryan on electric bass
Scott Amendola, Jeff Parker, and Paul Bryan all met nearly 30 years ago at Berklee College of Music. Musically minded in symmetry, Scott, Jeff, and Paul knows how to make 3 sound like one. The trio will embark on music composed by Amendola, some choice covers, and venture into the unknown.
Parker is ideally suited to follow Amendola’s muse wherever it leads. His versatile guitar adapts to his roles in the Chicago Underground Trio and in post-rock group Tortoise, or in projects like the ensemble Isotope 217 that bridge the two. On Lift, he conjures a blues shuffle on “Lima Bean” as easily as the rockabilly noir of “The Knife,” which Amendola wrote in tribute to friend and collaborator Jim Campilongo.
“Jeff is just so deep,” Amendola says. “His use of space and harmony and his sonic world are so interesting and unique.” Amendola refers to Shifflett as “the unsung hero” of the group, whose midwestern affability and self-deprecation (he’s from Iowa) combine to camouflage his robust playing. He anchors the band, asserting an organic, grounded acoustic feel when his bandmates venture far out into their electronic excursions.
“Paul’s energy and his unpredictability are always interesting to me,” Amendola says, “He’s extremely patient; he can sit on a line forever and let me and Jeff dance around it, and then inject some idea and completely change everything. But he does it in a way that’s very much about the ensemble and very little about himself.”
For Amendola, the drum kit isn’t so much an instrument as a musical portal. An ambitious composer, savvy bandleader and capaciously creative foil for some of the world’s most inventive musicians, Amendola apply his rhythmic virtuosity to a vast array of settings. His closest musical associates include guitarists, Nels Cline, Charlie Hunter, Hammond B-3 organist Wil Blades, violinists Regina Carter and Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, players who have each forged a singular path within and beyond the realm of jazz.
No project better displays Amendola’s big ears and musical ambitions than “Fade To Orange”, an orchestral piece commissioned as part of the Oakland East Bay Symphony’s Irvine Foundation-funded New Visions/New Vistas initiative. The roiling work premiered to critical acclaim at Oakland’s Paramount Theater on April 15, 2011.
As a sideman, Amendola has performed and recorded with a vast, stylistically varied roster of artists, including Bill Frisell, John Zorn, Mike Patton, Mondo Cane, John Scofield, Cibo Matto, John Dieterich from Deerhoof, Wadada Leo Smith, Bruce Cockburn, Madeleine Peyroux, Joan Osborne, Jacky Terrasson, Shweta Jhaveri, Phil Lesh, Sex Mob, Kelly Joe Phelps, Larry Klein, Carla Bozulich, Wayne Horvitz, Johnny Griffin, Julian Priester, Sonny Simmons, Pat Martino, Jim Campilongo, Bobby Black, Larry Goldings, Paul McCandless, Rebecca Pidgeon, and the Joe Goode Dance Group.
“Amendola’s music is consistently engaging, both emotionally and intellectually, the product of a fertile and inventive musical imagination.”
-The Los Angeles Times
“Amendola has complete mastery of every piece of his drumset and the ability to create a plethora of sounds using sticks, brushes, mallets, and even his hands.” Steven Raphael, Modern Drummer
“If Scott Amendola didn’t exist, the San Francisco music scene would have to invent him.”
-Derk Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian
“…drummer/signal-treater Scott Amendola is both a tyrant of heavy rhythm and an electric-haired antenna for outworldly messages (not a standard combination).”
-Greg Burk, LA Weekly