New jazz heaven

Amendola Trio promises to summon the spirit at Café Flo

Preview: Scott Amendola Trio Café Flo, Sat. & Sun., March 12 & 13. $7/advance; $8/door. for more info go to or call Café Flo at 892-0356.
Described by Modern Drummer magazine as having “complete mastery of every piece of his drum set,” Scott Amendola—the innovative Bay Area drummer-songwriter with the infectious smile who has toured with the likes of such big players as Charlie Hunter and Bill Frisell—brings his group, the Scott Amendola Trio, to Café Flo for a weekend of “new jazz” heaven.

Amendola has graced Chico with his mesmerizing stick work in the past—in January, 2004, with the Jessica Lurie Ensemble and last December at Café Flo with his “plays Monk” trio, featuring avant-garde Berkeley clarinetist Ben Goldberg. This time, however, “We’re gonna be doing my music,” Amendola told me by phone recently. “Jazz, ballads, rock, African, blues-influenced. … We had an unbelievably great time [playing at Café Flo in December]. … Liz [Gardner, the café's music promoter] said, ‘I want you to come back again doing your thing.’ “

With Dave Mac Nab on guitar and John Shifflett on upright bass, Amendola’s trio will be playing music from his two albums, 2002’s Cry and his earlier Band, as well as pieces from his upcoming Believe, due out June 7. Known for sensitive, inventive songwriting and interesting arrangements of others’ work (see his treatment of the traditional hymn, "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," on Cry, spotlighting the hauntingly beautiful violin work of Jenny Scheinman), Amendola promises to bring to town a night—make that two nights and one afternoon—to remember.