Buzz Amato, Muse Café Review
Buzz Amato’s incredible journey in the music industry, spanning over 40 years, has made him a seasoned pro. Amato’s career has been nothing short of extraordinary, from meeting and forming a close bond with the legendary Curtis Mayfield to touring with him as his keyboardist and eventually becoming his musical director.
After Curtis’s unfortunate death, Amato showed his resilience by forming Amatones Music, where he continued to showcase his skills independently, producing for various artists. Venturing into the realm of film music, Amato was given the chance to score for the horror cult classic film Babysitter Massacre. This paved the way for him to score five more feature-length films and a plethora of independent short films.
Despite the demands of production and composing, Amato proved his dedication by touring regularly as the keyboardist, arranger, and musical director for The Three Degrees. His music has taken him to corners of the world, like Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia. However, the halt in touring due to the pandemic in 2020 gave Amato a chance to concentrate on his newest CD, Muse Café.
In Muse Café, the Greek Muses themselves could not have composed a more fitting tribute. Each of the 11 songs is inspired by a different Muse, showing Amato’s versatility in writing, arranging, and production. The album not only provides a platform for his keyboard and piano skills, but it also features other talented artists like Doug Payne, Rick Hinkle, and Chris Blackwell, to name a few.
From the first strains of “Mount Helicon” to the closing notes of “Going Home,” the album promises an eclectic mix of musical flavors. Each track has a unique personality, reflecting Amato’s gift for storytelling and his deep understanding of music. Amato’s Muse Café is on the Blue Canoe Records label and is an exciting chapter to his dynamic musical journey.
“Muse Café,” the title track, is a harmonious symphony of world music sounds, painting a rich auditory landscape. The key players in this composition harmonize brilliantly to create an aural tapestry of depth and detail. Chris Blackwell’s guitar melodies, full of octave richness, flow smoothly throughout the piece, echoing the rhythm of a relaxed conversation. Doug Payne’s saxophone lends a layered richness to the bridge, his solo resonating with textured melodies, adding an element of intrigue and excitement. The drumming by Louis Newsome is nothing short of rock-solid, providing a steady rhythm that forms the backbone of the song. The real maestro, however, is Amato himself, whose knack for melding refined melodies and genres weaves the tapestry together into a composition that is both vibrant and evocative.
Taking a turn into the vibrant rhythms of Latin music, “Bossame Mucho” comes alive with the relaxed groove of Amato’s synths and piano. The piece pulses with the rhythm of Timothy Courts’ Latin-infused drum patterns, while Rick Hinkle’s guitar offers textural layers that only add to the lush soundscape. Doug Payne once again wows us with a lyrical saxophone solo, each note a testament to his musical prowess. Then enters Amato, gracefully illustrating his dexterity in both composition and improvisation. His solo performance is a beautifully strung-together series of emotive motifs that swirls around the established chord progression, imbuing the piece with a heightened sense of emotion. The resultant composition is not just a song but an experience, a journey through the rhythmic alleys of Latin music guided by the seasoned hands of Buzz Amato.
In the realm of music, Buzz Amato has proven to be a force that evolves and continues to surprise us with his extraordinary talent. Muse Café is evidence of his expansive musical talent, an enjoyable listen that leaves us anticipating more. Don’t miss the opportunity to embark on this musical odyssey. Tune in, and let the Muses guide you through an auditory exploration unlike any other. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Buzz Amato: Website |
November 18, 2022
Blue Canoe Records