October 27th, 2010
Scott Amendola eyes guitarist Jeff Parker during their performance at Poncho Hall Tuesday night as Amendola played Seattle in support of his self-released album Lift, his first album in five years. Lift marks the debut of the Scott Amendola Trio, which features longtime collaborators Jeff Parker and bassist John Shifflett. “They’re such great musicians that you can literally put anything in front of them and they’re going to make great music from it,” Amendola spoke of his bandmates on his website. “And it’s going to be them, their interpretation, which is exciting to me as a bandleader.”
Perhaps best known as the percussionist for the Nels Cline Singers, the San Francisco-based Scott Amendola has forged bonds to the worlds of jazz, blues, groove, rock, and new music. Writer Derk Richardson’s observation that “If Scott Amendola didn’t exist the San Francisco music scene would have to invent him” certainly says something of Amendola’s place in that community, and Amendola has now become a major presence on projects rooted in LA, the Bay Area, Seattle, Chicago, and New York.
In San Francisco Amendola leads a diverse collection of ensembles, from the modern jazz interpretations of Plays Monk, with clarinetist Ben Goldberg and bassist Devin Hoff, to the improvisational acoustic-electronic group Crater with laptop artist JNHO, to the Groove Trio with Hammond B3 player Wil Blades and guitarist Will Bernard. His work with Nels Cline and Devin Hoff in the raucous Nels Cline Singers has won him huge acclaim, and for Cline, Amendola’s wild and creative spirit is an essential voice on the scene today: “The first time I heard Scott I was really blown away. There aren’t too many drummers on the West Coast who had his wide ranging ability. Scott’s got some funk in him, a looser, sexy thing going on, and the flexibility to play free and different styles. He plays behind singer/ songwriters and he rocks too.”
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