Amandla is the music and group of Claude Coleman Jr., familiarly known as the perversely versatile, original drummer for the group Ween. His 25-year discography stretches across an eclectic array of artists and players throughout the NY/NJ area and beyond.
Amandla is CCJ as singer-songwriter. On record he is performing on all instruments, engineering and producing. Live, he is Amandla’s frontman and guitarist.
Coleman’s song career began in 1989 with the band Skunk. Signed to TwinTone Records in Minneapolis, MN. Skunk’s second release Laid (1991) featured three Coleman-penned tracks including the slow falsetto burner I Think I Don’t Mind, later re-recorded for debut Amandla release, Falling Alone (2001).
Falling Alone was a contextual portrait of Coleman’s influences, jumping categories around alt-rock-soul-folk-psychedelic exploration. Gene Ween sings on the Tyrannosaurs Rex cover, Summer Deep.
The second amandla record The Full Catastrophe (2006) took the span of four years in which Coleman became a near-fatal accident survivor, turning crippling injuries around to perform again. The record and his miraculous recovery story profiled by The New York Times and NPR. On Catastrophe, Coleman continued Amandla’s crossing style boundaries, bringing Costello-esque pop and flirting with jungle music moods. It has been reviewed as “a minor masterpiece”.
On amandla’s new fantastic third record released on Valentine’s Day, Coleman keeps it true to its broad universe of styles. Laughing Hearts is a deeply multi-textural stew, going from pop rock to blues, R&B, funk, and alt-country, with a unique wit of writing craft and modern approach. The sounds conjure up moods of romanticism, psychedelia, positivity and charm with an underlying current of soulfulness. From the summer pop anthem of Summer Deep to the brooding drama of Forever For Always, reviews are calling it… “a masterpiece”.
Currently, the drummer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, engineer / producer, music teacher, writer, web designer and carpenter has just begun touring and shows for Laughing Hearts to be continued well into the year, bringing the styles and sounds to eager ears worldwide.
amandla on record is Claude Coleman Jr on all instruments with intermittent guests.
amandla live is
CCJ: Guitar, Vox
Ram Mandelkorn: Guitar, Vox
Simon Thomas George: Keys, Vox
Nathan Lambertson: Bass
Jaze Uries: Drums, Vox