and mean, the AMENDOLA vs. BLADES duo
has firmly established itself as one of the liveliest acts in
the Bay Area”- Forrest
Dylan Bryant Jazz Observer online
Blades and Scott Amendola conjure various sonic deities though
only a duo. Their live shows have been generating a buzz around
the Bay Area. The two got their start as a group when Scott
had the vision of performing Duke Ellington’s “Far
East Suite” in duo with Wil. While quite a daunting
task translating a suite (originally written for a big band) into
duo, the Hammond Organ had previously been used in the 1940’s
and 1950’s to emulate the sound of big bands. With
Wil’s knowledge of this tradition and Scott’s desire
to push boundaries, they were able to pull it off in a explorative,
yet cohesive manner. The duo continues to perform the Ellington
suite in their live performances, while also developing their original
material. In performance, Amendola and Blades cover everything
from Avant Garde to Funk, Bebop to Rock.
SCOTT AMENDOLA QUARTET: Ben Goldberg, (Clarinet), Josh Smith (tenor saxophone), and John Shifflett (bass)
This quartet is a more traditional "jazz" type setting for Amendola's music but lacks a chordal instrument. This frees up Ben, Josh, and John to move around in ways that only 3 super deep harmonic and swinging improvisors know how. And what’s guaranteed is a non-traditional evening of improvised music. The quartet will be interpreting Scott's music, and music written by others. Ben Goldberg and Scott Amendola have a long history of playing music together starting in the 90’s. Ben is one of the most creative musicians on the planet. He knows how to own the music. Josh Smith is one of the few horn players who knows how to make texture, space, and energy elevate a band, but also has is own unique way of playing melody. John Shifflett is the anchor that propels the music in creative ways. How does an anchor move things forward you ask? Well listen to Shifflett on Amendola's two releases, Lift and Believe, and you will understand. Or better yet come and hear it in person. Nothing is sacred with this band, except the idea to keep the music deep and real.
"If Scott Amendola didn't exist, the San Francisco music scene would have to invent him."
- Derk Richardson, SF Bay Guardian. For Scott Amendola, the drum kit isn’t so much an instrument as a musical portal. As an ambitious composer, savvy bandleader and capaciously creative foil for some of the world’s most inventive musicians, Amendola applies his wide-ranging rhythmic virtuosity to a vast array of settings. His closest musical associates include guitarists Jeff Parker, Nels Cline and Charlie Hunter, Hammond B-3 organist Wil Blades, ROVA saxophonist Larry Ochs, and clarinetist Ben Goldberg, players who have each forged a singular path within and beyond the realm of jazz.
Ben Goldberg was named #1 Rising Star Clarinet in the 2011 Downbeat Critics’ Poll. His group New Klezmer Trio "kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music." (San Francisco Chronicle) In addition to composing for and playing in the Ben Goldberg Quintet, he leads the group Go Home and plays with Tin Hat; plays monk; Myra Melford’s Be Bread; and Nels Cline’s New Monastery.
Joshua Smith is a saxophonist / multi-instrumentalist who resides on the Peninsula of Point Reyes. Josh hails from Cleveland, Ohio where he grew up playing straight ahead and free-jazz gigs with some of Cleveland's finest stalwart players including luminary drummers Greg Bandy and Scotty Davis. Over the past 15 years Joshua has performed with a long list of incredible improvisers including Cuong Vu, Nate Wooley, Joe Maneri, Chris Jonas, Carla Kihlstedt, Trevor Dunn, Scott Amendola, Ches Smith, Simon Lott III, Clyde Stubblefield, and Russ Johnson. Smith relocated to the bay area in 2005 and has played with a host of bay area musicians. Smith has been thrilled to perform with Amendola’s new quartet as of late in addition to his groups, with whom he plays around San Francisco and in the Pt. Reyes and surrounding areas.
John Shifflet pushes the envelope in ways that move things in directions unknown, but welcome. He’s one of the most in-demand bass players in the Bay Area. John has performed with Dave Liebman, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Red Holloway, Ernie Watts, John Zorn, Kim Richmond, Madeleine Peyroux, Kurt Elling, and Norma Winstone, to name just a few.
COMEDIES FOR THE YOUNG, Scott Amendola and Matthias Bossi, will sedate an audience with an array of bangs,mind-cancelling gongs, and melodic entrapment. No self-assured power pop duo, these two sportsmen of the underworld will come armed to the teeth with an unexplainable knack for orchestral swamplitude, and carefree smashing of drums and cymbals, and whatever else they might pick up on the way out the door. Bring your parents!