Like many great drummers, Scott Amendola puts his percussion at the service of the music first, in support of his fellow players second, and in the spotlight third. The Bay Area-based Amendola, known for his work with Nels Cline, Charlie Hunter, and Madeleine Peyroux, has enough dynamic, powerful, and pinpoint chops to showboat any time he wants. But on his fourth album as a leader, although he takes a few jaw- dropping solos, he primarily backs up his compatriots, guitarist Jeff Parker and bassist John Schifflett. They, in turn, offer prismatic and soulfully cohesive interpretations of Amendola’s melody- and riff-rooted compositions. Parker comes across like six or seven electric pickers in one. He manifests his distinct senses of time, phrasing, and harmony while bringing forth riveting jazz, rock, country, grunge, and surf tones to suit Amendola’s many musical moods. Schifflett, given equal weight in a mix that’s nicely detailed from top to bottom, more than holds his own in these intimate conversations that explore everything from 70s fusion and New Orleans boogie to lullabies and space rock, given added dimension by Amendola’s shrewd use of electronics. As the title suggests, this album’s an upper.