"The Amendola vs Blades duo has firmly established itself as one of the liveliest acts in the Bay Area."
-The Jazz Observer
"Drummer Scott Amendola and organist Wil Blades create a rich sound that can turn on a dime, exploring everything from Duke Ellington suites to funk, bebop and rock."
"If Scott Amendola didn't exist, the San Francisco music scene would have to invent him."
-San Francisco Bay Guardian
"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."
-Modern Drummer Magazine
"Scott Amendola is quickly becoming my favorite drummer in all of drummerdom...Always innovative and inventive, he doesn't beat around the bush (no pun intended), he doesn't seem to beat a single square inch of drum that doesn't deserve to get beaten, but he's always fooling around, always in your face, going crazy with that irresistible smile on his face"
"Wil Blades is already a legend on the Hammond B-3 organ...On his debut album, Sketchy, released in August on Doodlin' Records, Blades showcases a smooth, funky sound that recalls heroes like Jimmy Smith without being slavishly derivative."
"Wil Blades has to be one of the most promising cats on the music scene today. His pulsating, hard groovin’ style on the Hammond B-3 is reminiscent of many great players, but with a flair that is distinctly his own."
“Yeah, he does it...he’s on it. He is the future to carry on the legend, the legacy of the organ, [of] the B-3.”
-Dr. Lonnie Smith - Pioneer and Legend of the Hammond B-3 Organ
Wil Blades and Scott Amendola conjure various sonic deities though only a duo. For the past 10 years, their live shows have been generating a buzz around the San Francisco Bay Area. The two got their start as a group when Scott had the vision of performing Duke Ellington’s “Far East Suite” in duo with Wil. While quite a daunting task translating a suite (originally written for a big band) into duo, the Hammond Organ had previously been used in the 1940’s and 1950’s to emulate the sound of big bands. With Wil’s knowledge of this tradition and Scott’s desire to push boundaries, they were able to pull it off in an explorative, yet cohesive manner. The duo continues to perform pieces from the Ellington suite, while also developing their original material. Their live performances are fun and playful, yet deeply musical. They can cover everything from Avant Garde to Funk, Bebop to Rock, sometimes within one song. In June 2015, at Duende in Oakland, CA, they set up shop for two nights and recorded in front of a live audience. The resulting release, entitled “Greatest Hits”, is now out on SAZi records and has been receiving rave reviews!
"Sometimes it just ridiculous how much sonic space Scott Amendola and Wil Blades alone can fill up in a room. Freakishly funky and soul satisfying, this dynamic duo push the limits on their Greatest Hits, while having too much fun doing it.”
-Something Else Music, November 2016
"Wil Blades and Scott Amendola have proven themselves two artful, agile musicians who have imbued serious truth into this facetiously-titled effort of theirs."
-All About Jazz, November 2016
• 2017 Downbeat Critics Poll Winner: Rising Star–Organ
Blades, a native Chicagoan, has become the San Francisco Bay Area’s first call organist and is rapidly gaining momentum throughout the world. Since 2006, he has been named in the Downbeat critics poll every year under “Rising Star” for organ. Wil has kept the traditional sounds of Jimmy Smith, Larry Young, and “Groove” Holmes alive, while creating a more personal, modern sound. Wil has performed and recorded with John Lee Hooker, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Joe Louis Walker, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Karl Denson, Will Bernard, Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore, and many others.
An organizer by nature, Jersey native Scott Amendola has become a creative nexus for a community of musicians stretching from Los Angeles and Seattle to Chicago and New York. Amendola's inspiration stems from such stylistic influences as African music, jazz, blues, spirituals, rock, and the avant garde. Scott has never been satisfied with just being a masterful drummer, he has spent his career pushing music in new directions. Scott has toured, recorded, or performed with Bill Frisell, Dave Liebman, John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Jacky Terrasson, Larry Goldings, Jeff Parker, Madeleine Peyroux, Sex Mob, Wayne Horvitz, Johnny Griffin, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Pat Martino, Nels Cline, Peter Apfelbaum, Jim Campilongo, Ben Goldberg, Mark Turner, Michael Franti, Phil Lesh and others, and has toured extensively throughout Europe, North America, and Australia.