Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scott Amendola Trio - Lift (Sazi Records, 2010)

Drummer and percussionist Scott Amendola is a mainstay on the San Francisco jazz and improvisation scene leading his own bands and collaborating with the likes of Nels Cline and Charlie Hunter. He leads a trio on this album with another exciting guitarist, Jeff Parker, who is active in the Chicago scene, and bassist John Shifflett. The music is multi-faceted, with aspects of groove, jazz and improvised sound-scapes all included. The album begins with “Tudo de Bom” opening with a drum solo before guitar and bass enter to form a mid-tempo groove. A spare, open and almost science fiction like landscape that echoes the music of Sun Ra is featured on “Cascade” developing a spacey, hypnotic groove. “Blues For Istanbul” opens with thick bass and drums, with subtle guitar gliding in, developing a nice cool sounding jazzy collective improvisation. “Death by Flower” (what a title!) has a grinding, rockfish feel approaching fusion and progressive rock with a heavy dynamic. Very strong drums and shedding guitar reminiscent of Nels Cline make this track very exciting. The grooving track “Lima Bean” has Amendola’s drums establishing a funky feel similar to his work with the eight string guitarist Charlie Hunter, and the group develops a nicely swinging up-tempo performance featuring a thick string bass solo. Reverb saturated guitar over a backbeat gives a cop show cinematic flavor to “The Knife.” Strong bass and a propulsive beat mesh with stinging guitar for a powerful performance. This was a well performed wide ranging album that covers a lot of improvisational ground. The trio is a very open minded unit, able to reference many different types of music, while developing a sound all their own. Lift -

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