I guess the World Series is playing heavily on my mind in that I could not help but twist my Scott Amendola post into a Jeff Parker riff that somehow wants to recall the old Saturday Night Live skit about the Killer Bees….I know, it’s kind of a Stretch (McCovey):
Reggie Jackson and The Chicago Honeydripper:
Scott Amendola Trio, featuring SA on drums, South Bay stalwart John Shifflett on acoustic bass and Chicago by way of twangy-accent Virginia Jeff Parker on guitar and effects rack, made a rare 650 appearance Sunday night at Dana Street Roasting in Mountain View, for an appreciative group of cognescenti, including yours truly. The jazzbos were celebrating the release of Scott Amendola’s fourth solo outing, this one entitled “Lift” (SAZI Records — his imprint, following two previous releases on the venerable Cryptogramophone label), one of about a half dozen West Coast shows the group would work up, (including Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz, Thursday.
First off, I want to give kudo to KZSU jazz dj Wedge and his Memory Select blog which pinged me that this was going down. Here is his informative and insightful preview:
Also, here is a link to Andrew Gilbert as usually excellent story in the Mercury:
And for good measure, my memory select (it’s a Tim Berne reference) was correct that I had seen Scott getting some love from the New York Times recently (2007). Nate Chinen here lauds the cd release show for the previous “Via Amendola” which featured Jeff Parker trading licks with Nels Cline; he also theorizes that Scott soaks in a lot of Berkeley color which helps him channel Tony Allen and a world of diverse influences.
I’ve known Scott for about 15 years. I first met him when I produced a rare TJ Kirk/Charlie Hunter double bill at Cubberley Center in Palo Alto in September, 1995. I also booked Scott’s Amendola bands once each at Cubberley (splitting the bill with Blue Note pianist James Hurt) and at my short-lived series at an art gallery in downtown PA. Through Scott’s suggestion, I also once booked Jenny Scheinman band into a free show at Stanford’s CoHo — I used to think that if Scott, Jenny and Todd Sickafoos ever stayed exclusive to each other (rather than covering the girdled Earth 27 times each) they might rival Medeski Martin and Wood in buzz, or the Bad Plus. When you’d book any of their bands in those days you’d get basically the same personnel but with a different book, yet always excellent and highly entertaining.
At this point, at age 41, Amendola is just about the dean of the young lions of Bay Area jazz, for a drummer. And it was a rare treat therefore to catch him in the flesh without having to drive an hour and fight traffic.
But I was psyched to finally see Jeff Parker. And here is a nice synopsis of his work off the Thrill Jockey website by the redoubtable John Corbett (I don’t think he will mind if I quote him verbatim):
If you went looking for a poster-child for Chicago’s multidirectional, cross-pollinating, interstylistic music scene, you couldn’t find a better one than Jeff Parker. Parker: jazz guitarist with pro credentials, widely travelled and prized by top soul-jazzers and hard-boppers. Parker: inveterate rocker who revitalized Tortoise with his ferocious improvising and tasty licks. Parker: experimentalist willing to try new dub, hip-hop,electronic, collage, free, chamber – anything worthwhile, irrespective of genre or orientation. Community expander, boundary buster, restless explorer – Jeff Parker is constantly trying out new things with new partners. A man on the move.
The show I saw the sidemen were working from charts; I’d like to see how this sounds after a few more shows together. Also, I dig that Amendola is indeed cross-pollinating with the Chicago scene. It’s too bad that Reggie Jackson, Walter Matthau and Hal Willner probably will not be there to feel the fruits of their labor, a la this October Classic:
Okeh, finally, while quickly searching for his “gear page” before Palo Alto Library’s time share computer system logs me out , this little interview on some other dude’s WordPress blog is too cool to resist linking:
Have a great tour, guys!
edit to add, July 15, 2011: I submitted a post to Patch Palo Alto AOL about Scott Amendola and then wrote these notes and corrections to my editor there:
“Fade to Orange” is name of his piece, not “Orange is the Color”
In graph 12, “Regarding the drummer…” I misspell “communicating”
Also, I mean “feel him” and not “feel me” in my little joke about Wallace Stegner (who I comment on in other parts of Patch, with LA Chung) not liking the use of the term “feel” for “understand”. Should read “I am glad that Wallace Stegner is not here to not feel me write “feel him”” etc or something.
I deliberately mis-identify the Dave King band Buffalo Collision as Buffalo Collusion as an obscure Cole Porter “Let’s Do It” allusion. (as in birds do it, bees do it, buffalos might do it, it would be a collusion as much as a collision, or better). I was gonna post later to correct the record, in comments, and explain how sly or clever I was being.
also, i may submit another piece between now and july 31 about bill frisell in that he has recorded and written scores to silent films of buster keaton and Stanford theater is doing a run of Keaton with Dennis James.
Plus, I wanted to ask Scott about Ava Mendoza and vice versa. I suggest they play together either under the name Amen or Amend. Or Amen or Amend. Also, it seems Amendola is due extra love from Plastic Alto in that he has an Ornette project, The Good Life.