Buzz Amato, Muse Café Review
Buzz Amato, Muse Café Review
Buzz Amato is a versatile and accomplished producer, writer, arranger, and keyboardist with an impressive four-decade-long career in the music industry. Amato has credits on over 150 CDs as a performer or producer, including two platinum-certified albums. Amato’s musical journey is nothing short of remarkable. In the early 1980s, after a fateful encounter with the legendary Hall of Fame musician Curtis Mayfield, Amato became his trusted keyboardist and musical director and toured extensively with him. As Mayfield’s trusted keyboardist and musical director, Amato toured extensively with him, forging a profoundly personal and musical bond that lasted until Mayfield’s untimely passing in 1999. Undeterred, Buzz established Amatones Music, where he continued to independently produce for a diverse range of artists.
In 2010, Amato expanded his creative horizons by scoring the cult horror film Babysitter Massacre, a venture that led to scoring five additional feature-length films and numerous independent short films. Unfortunately, the pandemic in 2020 brought an abrupt halt to touring, but Amato seized this opportunity to focus on creating his latest masterpiece, Muse Café. This captivating 11-song collection draws inspiration from each Greek Muses, brilliantly showcasing Amato’s writing, arranging, production, and keyboard talents.
Muse Café begins with the delightful opening track, “Mt. Helicon,” a spirited and lively piece that instantly captivates the listener and begins our journey. “Muse Café” is a soulful, funk-infused slow groove that pulls from world music and smooth jazz, with a beautifully octave melody on the guitar. The song also showcases contemplative, melodious solos by guitarist Chris Blackwell and Buzz Amato himself and a mesmerizing soprano saxophone performance by Doug Payne.
Amato’s refined compositional aptitude is strikingly displayed in pieces like “Melpomene,” “Urania,” and the exquisitely poetic “Sappho, Last Call.” Each composition pays homage to its respective muse or figure, embodying the essence of tragedy, astronomy, and lyrical poetry. These tracks showcase Amato’s remarkable ability to ingeniously weave themes from mythology, celestial studies, and literary history into a musical tapestry. Demonstrative of his intellectual artistry, these outstanding pieces present a symphony of complex textures and balanced structures, expertly crafted upon the pillars of these erudite inspirations.
Throughout Muse Café’s diverse repertoire, Amato also shows his acute gift for orchestration and building textured ensembles. Amato’s talent as a composer, arranger, and keyboardist cohesively draws on inspiration from the rich tapestry of mythology, astronomy, and literature throughout the album; the result is an enchanting collection of tracks that stimulate both the mind and the soul. His intellectual artistry and deep understanding of various disciplines allow him to create a harmonious fusion of intricate textures and balanced structures, resulting in a truly memorable and unique listening experience that explores the fascinating world of Greek Muses and beyond.
Blue Canoe Records
November 18, 2022