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.
The last link is actually to the Richmond, VA based musician Scott Burton who performs as Glows in The Dark and also interviews other musicians on his blog. Will def have to check him out too.
Thanks for the mention! I actually met Jeff in Chicago, but he’s from Hampton, VA. We were hanging out after a recent Tortoise show in Richmond, and learned that Jeff went to the same middle school as Glows trombonist Reggie Pace! They were both inspired to play music by the band teacher too!
I will have to listen to Scott Burton’s music and also read his interviews with Steven Bernstein (who played my 10th anniversary show, as Diaspora Suite) and Matana Roberts, who I’ve never met or heard live but who was mentioned in my interview (of sorts) with Alexis Cuadrado, “Music and The Brain: Is it My Puppet?” which is actually my ode to Oliver Sachs…
Coincidentally, I mentioned that the New York Times writer compared Scott Amendola to Tony Allen, and on Wednesday NPR’s World Cafe had a segment on the former Fela Kuti stalwart:
Fans of Jeff Parker might want to check him out with Brian Blade Fellowship at Yoshi’s next week. Parker says the group is also recording an album in Portland. Also, guitar trivia freaks may be interested to know that the song “Knife” on Amendolas new cd “Lift” is dedicated to Jim Campilongo (also coming to Yoshi’s): it sounds like Campilongo. Parker covers a lot of different styles and sounds in his set with Amedola; to me their was a consistency to the songs but also variation, especially in how the guitar is used.
Further coincidence: Reggie Jackson did a cameo on Jay Leno show in which he faced off (or I guess you could say “buzzed off”) in a faux game show bit against Denzel Washington about Yankee trivia. The tiebreaker question had to do with the ingredients of the “Reggie” candy bar: Nuts, caramel, chocolate. Am I mixing metaphors and or stretching it too far (like a Willy Wonka taffy bar?) to say that the Amendola trio can be thought of as Amendola the nut of it, Shifflett the caramel holding it all together, and then smothered over by the chocolate, Parker?
further off the same tangents:
1) Denzel mentions in passing on Thursday’s Tonight Show that his son plays pro football with Daunte Culpepper. It turns out that John David Washington indeed is the actor’s son and a former Morehouse running back playing with the Sacramento franchise of semi-pro football:
2) Been meaning to track down the Bernie Williams interview in New York Times recently in which he states the name of his favorite guitar player: did he say Scott Henderson?
yep, that’s what he said: fusion player.
played with victor wooten…but is that jazz?
killer bees reggae riff with malcolm papa mali welbourne and 7 Walkers in Santa Cruz last night…
I spoke to Malcolm who said the show at Moe’s Alley was a sellout and that they were off to Yosemite area for “La Tortuga” which he says is a Day of The Dead type jam band event. We spoke briefly about baseball and Mali said he was a fan of the Giants but growing up was into Sandy Koufax and The Mick. He said the football Saints and the baseball Giants are the only two sports teams he even loosely follows. He had not heard about “Fear the Beard” although he is still stylin’ some facial hair these days.
At my fantasy football league mid-season draft, the Beneath The Underdog barely resisted drafting St. Louis Rams receiver Danny Amendola. Scott and I actually talked about Danny the other night.
I did take Rams quarterback Sam Bradford as my back-up (behind Tom Brady), as a nod to my friend the Cochiti potter Diego Romero (who’s actually a Raider’s fan, but told me he follows Oklahoma football and Bradford, who is an MOT First Nation-style).
I picked a kicker named Folk because I like the sound of it. I also sang Hanna Tzenah’s “Eli, Eli” in a woeful lament about having to lose Eli Manning to waivers, (although Zlotnick and Arnold refused to chime in).
Eck-ke-moke anecdote wherein Von Freeman describes how Sun Ra communicated with him via trans-sans-portation — what we might call telepathy.
From John Corbett’s Pathyways to Unknown Worlds:Sun Ra, El Saturn and Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground 1954-68, Whitewalls, 2006, Chicago, p 126…the last word.
Amendola will be in Philly next week as part of Celestial Septet, a combination of Nels Cline Singers and ROVA, via Mark Christman’s Ars Nova series:
Singe? More like BURNS, baby, BURNS.
Just bought tickets for the Amendola reprise show at Dana Street Roasting in Mountain View this time featuring Charlie Hunter on guitar and unanounced Ben Goldberg on clarinet. I suggested to proprietor Nick Chaput that he try to bring Ben back with Clarinet Thing and or try to bring Edmund Welles (Cornelius Boots band) who are this week opening four shows with MMW. That’s my tweet (picture me doing air-clarinet).
Ai, yai yai, (but not eli, eli) that I am posting on Scott Burton’s site about Malcolm Welbourne and Gary Glitter — how is it, though, that “Rock and Roll, part 2” is somehow an influence on dub? Mali once described for me, well before Gary Glitter’s problems were all over the press — something recent about “Glee”????
Scott Amendola has written me twice now asking to change two errata on the Patch piece, about the current personnel of Go Home. See