For Scott 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 applies his rhythmic virtuosity to a vast array of settings.
His closest musical associates include guitarists, Nels Cline, Jeff Parker, 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.
Over a career spanning more than three decades, Amendola has forged deep ties across the country, and throughout the world. As an ambitious composer, savvy bandleader, electronics explorer, first-call accompanist, 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. He’s never more than one degree away from a powerful musical hook-up.