Scott Amendola, the heir apparent to Art Blakey, finally makes a new album after five years. His band is smaller, but his sound continues to grow.
The Scott Amendola Band may have shrunk to being the Scott Amendola Trio, but this doesn't mean that the go-to drummer of modern jazz can't continue to exercise his stylistic reach. Accompanied by fellow renegades Jeff Parker and John Shifflett, Lift plays like a quick tour through Scott Amendola's career as a sideman. "Tudo de Bom" and "Lima Bean" sound like the laid-back funk of his tenure with Charlie Hunter and T.J. Kirk, but "Cascade" and "Death by Flower" take things down a weirder path akin to his other full-time commitment: the Nels Cline Singers. The straight forward rock-oriented beat of "The Knife" is one of those things you never expect to hear on a jazz album, but the variety it brings is refreshing. Lift not an album that will stop time, but it's proof that Scott Amendola should release an album as a bandleader more often than every five years.