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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 classic West Coast 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, since they shaped the style he has today. When he's not playing his over 100 dates a year, Elliot pilots a small aircraft; he was also a partner in PacificNet, an Internet multimedia company that developed websites for the music and entertainment industries.

As a solo artist, Elliot debuted with his self-produced City Speak (1996), followed by After Dark (1994), On the Town (1991), Power of Suggestion (1988), Take to the Skies (1989), Trolltown (1986), What's Inside (1990), and Initial Approach (1987), all for Blue Note/Capitol Records. Two albums he had recorded for the now-defunct Enigma label were re-released on Capitol. His 1993 album, Soul Embrace, rocketed to the top of the Billboard contemporary jazz charts. Elliot's 1999 effort, Chill Factor, proved to be his final studio album for Blue Note. The label issued The Best of Richard Elliot in 2000. The following year he moved over to GRP, where he debuted with Crush. After a world tour in late 2001 and 2002, he returned with Ricochet in 2003. Produced by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, who also played on the date, the album also featured contributions from guitarist Jonathan Butler, keyboardist Rex Rideout, percussionist Lenny Castro, and others.

After parting ways with GRP, Elliot founded ARTizen Music Group with trumpeter Rick Braun. His debut for the imprint was Metro Blue in 2005, which reached number two on Billboard's contemporary jazz chart. Its single, a cover of the Stylistics' "People Make the World Go Round," spent 11 weeks at number one on the Radio & Records airplay chart. Two years later, he and Braun collaborated again on RnR. The title track from the album spent over two months at number one on the smooth jazz chart. Elliot and Braun eventually sold their label to Artistry Music, which is distributed by Mack Avenue. The first album for Artistry was 2009's Rock Steady. Inspired by Elliot's love of R&B, the album featured both originals and covers, including readings of Aretha Franklin's title track and Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up." Musicians Braun, Gerald Albright, and Lorber all made key contributions to the set. As with its two predecessors, Rock Steady charted, spending 40 weeks on Billboard's contemporary jazz chart. Elliot and Lorber teamed again to produce 2011's In the Zone, a collection of nine originals and a striking cover of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)." The album was released in mid-October and marked Elliot's 25th anniversary as a recording artist. He then joined saxophonists Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, and Albright for the all-star collaboration Summer Horns, which garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Pop Album.

Elliot returned to his own work in 2014 with Lip Service, his first album for the Heads Up/Concord Music Group. Inspired by his love for his wife, the album featured a mix of originals and covers, including reworkings of Brian McKnight's "Anytime," Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man," and a version of the Manhattans' "Shining Star" arranged by fellow Tower of Power alumnus trumpeter Greg Adams. In 2016, Elliot delivered his second album for Heads Up/Concord, the '70s funk and fusion-influenced Summer Madness. Produced by and featuring longtime creative partner Braun, the album also showcased contributions from saxophonist Curt Waylee, bassist Nathaniel Phillips, and others. Included on Summer Madness was a cover of Spyro Gyra's "Cachaca." ~ Richard Skelly & Thom Jurek
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Lip Service

1. Desire

2. Lip Service

3. Given It Up

4. Sweet Spot

5. Sookie Sookie

6. All The Way

7. When I Was Your Man

8. Shining Star

9. City Lights

10. Anytime

x

Track List: Number Ones

1. Here And Now

2. Moomba

3. People Make The World Go Round

4. Mystery

5. RnR

6. Move On Up

7. Retro Boy

8. Island Style

9. Boom Town

10. Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)

11. Island Style (Live)

12. Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler) (Live)

x

Track List: In The Zone

1. Island Style

2. Boom Town

3. Metropolis

4. Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)

5. The Lower Road

6. Bring It!

7. Just A Taste

8. In The Zone

9. Panamera

10. Golden Triangle

x

Track List: Rock Steady

1. Move On Up

2. Straight Up

3. Yaquala

4. Restless

6. License To Chill

7. Candice Dance

8. Rock Steady

9. The Preacher

10. Spindrift

11. Keep On Truckin'

x

Track List: Ricochet

1. Corner Pocket

2. Ricochet

3. Rendezvous

4. Sweet Memories

5. So Good

6. Seven Sacred Pools

7. Slam

8. You Make Me Feel Brand New

9. Sake For Two

10. Sly

x

Track List: Crush

1. Crush

2. Q.T.

3. Still Sweet On You

4. If I Kissed You

5. Work All Night

6. Melrose Diner

7. Brand New Love Affair

8. Coco

9. Shotgun

10. Sticky Wicked

x

Track List: Retro Boy (Radio Single)

1. Retro Boy

Comments

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Strong sax man. Pandora you won't let me go to bed. Just great.
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Loving this! Wail on!
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Going to see Richard Elliot on 8/26/2016. Can't wait!
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Good riding music.
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So nice, good relaxing music...
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So romantic , there are lyrics but the instrument are great.....lo v e both
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This is his Best album so for, Love it
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Yes, yes. Sweet jazz to smooth my soul.
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Classic sound!
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Smoooooooth Jazz at its finest
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janice.johns o n 2
luv 'em all!
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Pacmaan64
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Great live very soulful great band
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glennlaird6
What about his early days as Norman Nostril and the Nosepickers in the early 70's? I bet almost no one knows that era of his music.
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Love his music. So relaxing..
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Love his music. What? No mention of his years in the 1970's with band Kitty Hawk? They produced two incredible albums: Kitty Hawk and Race for the Oasis. If you want to see him and the rest of this phenomenal group in action with Richard plying sax and lryicon, check out the videos on U Tube - Kitty Hawk First Flight Islands special. You won't be sorry you did....
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Early morning music, you know that this is what will help you to relax and enjoy the day .
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The best of smooth jazz, makes my evenings.
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Great jazz, got most of his jams
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He also talk to me with his music,s
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Let The Sounds lead what's in Your Head ZONE❤️
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I like the saxaphone that Richard Elliot plays
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livingjoy
Smooth
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blackknight5 7
blow daddy blow
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Really enjoy Mr. Smooth Elliot. Rico
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Yes he can play that instruments
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Yes he can play that instrument.
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rmusicus
That's a horrible thing to be compared to Kenny G. Really?
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gypsyme3
You may b toooo young b ut there was a great song b y ESSEX .. Walking miracle !!! Heard today !! Yes I old !!
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gypsyme3
Thanks for ALL THE MUSIC SIR !!
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Goldmine
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lj_langston
ghmartin... I completely concur...... omg
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Would love for him to do another RNR CD with Rick Braun ad well as a Summer Horns CD with Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Mindi Abair
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crisp & smooth at the same time........ . . saw him in concert in Clearwater, FL yrs ago......... . . . . . sure got my money's worth....... fantastic musician
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I love him and the blessing God has blessed him with . I met him in Monroe Mich. at St. Marys Park. He is very nice, just like his music. If i had to rate his music ,he would get a 10 and 10 being the highest..
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Love, love, love "Island Style"! Anything with "island"in it is for me!
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eja4log
Yeah!!! This is GatorRoy, Elliotting Back!
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Watched Him, Peter White and Huge Grove in Philadelphia Friday night. They rock the whole house standing ovation to a wonderful job they all did, but Richard Elliott torn the roof off, he is very, very entertaining . . . . .
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Watched him and Rick Braun do the RandR tour at the Soiled Dove. One of the best shows I attended
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Great Sound!!!!!
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Very nice write-up on Senor Richard Elliot... He is one of the best on Sax with a R&B fling... Keep up the great work Mr. Elliot...
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One of the Great Ones, he's awesome, would love to see you in person.
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Richard Elliot is awesome in person I have been on five Jazz Cruises with Richard and his transition on the Sax is Great.
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You're doing your Thang, Smooth and, easy Old School
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Such a smooth and psychologica l l y uplifting head cleaners like in the old days with cassette players. Old school and now at the same time. THANKS PANDORA
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Smooth jazz is cool quiet q b d quiet but deadly
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This is smooth jaz at its best
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A damn good 1
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oalero00
"Awesome" smooth jazz is taking over
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lesabrantley 5
Love it !!!!
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