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Scott Amendola

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 Tin Hat clarinetist Ben Goldberg, players who have each forged a singular path within and beyond the realm of jazz. While rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area scene, Amendola has woven a dense and far-reaching web of bandstand relationships that tie him to influential artists in jazz, blues, rock and new music. A potent creative catalyst, the Berkeley-based drummer become the nexus for a disparate community of musicians stretching from Los Angeles and Seattle to Chicago and New York. Whatever the context, Amendola possesses a gift for twisting musical genres in unexpected directions. By employing custom designed electronics, including looping machines, pedals and ring modulators, he’s continually expanding his sonic palette, exploring textures and rhythms with an improvisational sensibility. “The electronics are an extension of my voice as a drummer and musician,” Amendola says. “People know me as a drummer, and as a growing musician it makes sense to do new things. It’s all about capturing sound. The loops are all improvised, and I start each performance with a blank slate.” Electronics play an increasingly important role in his volatile trio featuring the protean Chicago guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Isotope 217, Chicago Underground Trio) and veteran South Bay bass master John Shifflett. The group released its critically acclaimed debut “Lift” on Amendola’s new label Sazi Records. Weaving together seductive melodies, transparent textures and mysterious buzzes and beeps, the album focuses on Amendola’s lyrically charged original tunes. Renegade Los Angeles guitarist Nels Cline, who spends much of his time these days touring and recording with Wilco, has also encouraged Amendola’s electronic explorations in the Nels Cline Singers. The instrumental trio with has blazed a brilliant trail with a series of dense, invigorating recordings for Cryptogramophone, most recently 2010’s stunning double album “Initiate.” “The first time I heard Scott I was really blown away,” Cline says. “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.

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Album Review
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"(Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola)...retain a shared enthusiasm for the sheer joy of making music that you can hear in every bar." —Mr. Stu's Record Room "Amendola, who played with Hunter in T.J. Kirk back in the early ’90s, is the perfect partner for the guitarist, complementing his chilled funk with fat propulsion and deft melodic accents and counterpoint that never leave the listener noticing that only two folks are making the noise." —Peter Margasak, emusic “Amendola has complete mastery of every piece of his drumset and the ability to create a plethora of sounds using sticks, brushes, mallets, and even his hands.” —Steven Raphael, Modern Drummer magazine "If Scott Amendola didn't exist, the San Francisco music scene would have to invent him." —Derk Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian “...drummer/signal-treater Scott Amendola is both a tyrant of heavy rhythm and an electric-haired antenna for outworldly messages (not a standard combination)." —Greg Burk, LA Weekly

Primary Instrument



San Francisco

Willing to teach

Advanced only


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Change of Scene

Self Produced


Share the Wealth

Blue Note Records


Flutter to Fuzz

A-Train Creative


Fade to Orange

Sazi Records


The Call

From: Soundtrack For A Film Without...
By Scott Amendola


From: Temi Per Cinema
By Scott Amendola



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