Drummer Scott Amendola and Hammond B-3 maven Wil Blades produce a sound bigger than the both of them | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Drummer Scott Amendola and Hammond B-3 maven Wil Blades produce a sound bigger than the both of them 

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click to enlarge Scott Amendola and Wil Blades

Scott Amendola and Wil Blades

Lenny Gonzalez

On the cover of their cheekily titled new album Greatest Hits (Sazi), Bay Area drummer Scott Amendola and Hammond B-3 groove merchant (and Evanston native) Wil Blades are pitted against each another behind their respective setups, but the music they make relies on total cooperation. As a duo they generate a thick, full-bodied sound, Blades using the organ’s bass pedals to build a deep bottom and Amendola getting a fat presence from his kit without losing his touch on swing and bossa-nova accents. Over the course of the seven originals recorded live at the Duende club in Oakland the pair serve up loads of funk that can be both greasy and sleek within a single tune (“Lima Bean”). “Slow Zig,” which is likely a salute to Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, keeps cool with a hazy atmosphere, and “Addis” bridges the gap between the golden age of Ethiopian soul and early 70s Stevie Wonder. The duo can seriously shift gears too. The drummer’s gorgeous ballad “Deep Eyes” oozes lyric tenderness, while Blades occasionally complements his organ swells and runs with the twangy bite of a Clavinet. More often, though, the pair simultaneously invoke the classic sound of a Hammond trio while resourcefully tapping fresh sources.   v

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