AMN Reviews: Scott Amendola – Fade to Orange (2015; Pledgemusic)

largeCreative jazz drummer Amendola takes a left turn on Fade to Orange, which is a long-form orchestral piece. While he wrote and performed the music several years ago, it was not recorded until recently, under the auspices of a Pledgemusic campaign. Featuring collaborators Nels Cline, Trevor Dunn, and an orchestra, this is not your usual release. Not only is the 17-minute recording featured on this release, but also remixes of it by Yuka Honda, Mocean Worker, John Dieterich / Drake Hardin, and Beautiful Bells.

The opening track is the recording itself. Amendola, Cline and Dunn are in the forefront, while the orchestra fills in any gaps and provide additional texture. Cline, in particular, is in his usual form, providing spiky intrusions of avant-guitar. The piece meanders somewhere between jazz, rock, and classical, with orchestral interludes breaking in on the powerful work of Cline, Dunn, and Amendola. Fade to Orange ends with delicate interplay between the musicians, with the result resembling a soundtrack to a cerebral drama.

For the remixes, Mocean Worker adds beats, keyboard washes, and effects to elements of the piece, resulting in something that could be played on a dance floor. Dieterich and Hardin provide something closers to a drum-and-bass version, with breaks and atmospherics.  Yuka Honda contributes a mashup that resembles modern classical and electronica, with a heavy emphasis on Amendola’s drumming.  Beautiful Bells adds crackling to the percussion lines, then overlays a routine beat on to a pared down keyboard pattern.

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