Download Richard Elliot
Although he's called a "smooth jazz artist," saxophonist Richard Elliot is equally at home with most rock & roll and the kind of classic R&B performed by the group Tower of Power. For five years in the 1980s, he was a big part of the classic R&B band's horn-based sound. The Scottish-born Elliot was raised in Los Angeles, where he quickly became a fan of West Coast classic R&B. Elliot landed his first job while still a teenager with Natalie Cole and the Pointer Sisters. A few years later, he was tapped to record with some of his idols from Motown Records, which had relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles. In the 1970s, he had the chance to record with Smokey Robinson, the Four Tops, and the Temptations. Elliot was later tapped to record with the Yellowjackets on their second album. After touring with Melissa Manchester for a time, he was asked to become a full-fledged member of the Tower of Power horns in 1982. He stayed with the group until 1987 and looks back fondly on those years for they shaped the style he has today. When he's not playing his over 100 dates a year, Elliot pilots a small aircraft and is partner in PacifNet, an Internet multimedia company that develops websites for the music and entertainment industries. Elliot's nine albums under his own name include his self-produced Cityspeak (1996); After Dark (1994); On the Town, (1991); Power of Suggestion (1991); Take to the Skies (1991); Trolltown (1991); What's Inside (1991); Initial Approach (1984); and Soul Embrace (1993) all for Blue Note/Capitol Records. Two albums he had recorded for the now-defunct Enigma were re-released on Capitol. His 1993 album Soul Embrace rocketed to the top of the Billboard contemporary jazz charts, and though Elliot has a smooth jazz sound that could be compared with Kenny G.'s, albums like 1999's Chill Factor prove his take on contemporary jazz is more firmly rooted in tradition.