*“It’s been a strange reality we living in and as an artist I was motivated to express myself,” said Grammy nominated Smooth Jazz saxophonist Richard Elliot about the reason for his latest album release “Authentic Life” (Shanachie Entertainment) – his first album in five years. “My tour dates were gone and I was sitting at home. We’re all going through extreme emotions. I feel lucky I have an outlet of music.”
The “Authentic Life” offers 10 selections and features assistance from Rick Braun (trumpeter), Dave Koz (sax), Jeff Lorber (keyboardist), Grammy nominated Chris “Big Dog” Davis (keyboardist), Grammy nominated Philippe Saisse (Keyboardist), and David Mann (piano).
“Luckily they were sitting at home too,” laughed Richard when I complimented him on his outstanding list of Jazz musicians on the “Authentic Life” project. “So it worked out pretty well. Part of the motivation for ‘Authentic Life’ is gratitude. Gratitude, that I am able to record music in a genre with so many greats. Collaboration is the common thing. Dreams come true. I’m lucky I can pick up the phone and call any of these guys.”
Elliot was born January 16th in Scotland and raised in Los Angeles. He is a Scottish-American. His family moved to the United States when he was three years-old. By his 20’s he landed a job with the Tower of Power band who at the time was very high-profile with many years and many hits under their belts. He played with them for five years through the 1980’s then started working independently for artists such as Stacy Lattisaw for her “Take Me All the Way” album; Percy Sledge for the classic “When a Man Loves a Women” song that was covered by Michael Bolton; Luther Vandross on his hits “Here and Now” and “Your Secret Love”, and the Yellowjackets on their “Mirage a Trois” album. He debuted as a soloist in 1984 and he scored his first #1 chart-topper in 1991 with “On the Town” (Manhattan Records) – one of four #1 chart-toppers he has garnered in his career. In 2005 he partnered with Rick Braun to form the record label ARTizen Music Group (known as Artistry Music). “Authentic Life” makes his 20th solo album; four on ARTizen, three on Blue Note, two on Capital, and three on Intima imprints – to name a few of his labels.
“I was with Tower of Power for five years – 1982 – 1987,” he pointed out when I talked about what a “powerful” sound that band makes. “Once in a while I get on stage with them if we are at the same festival. I was in my 20’s; it was the most important influence on my career. When they get on stage there’s a force and energy – it’s overwhelming.”
Tower of Power is known as a Funk/Jazz/Soul band that discovered lead singer Lenny Williams (“What is Hip?” and “Willing to Learn”) and gave us the hits “What is Hip?” and “You’re Still a Young Man.” Richard Elliot can play most genres including Rock-N-Roll, but Smooth Jazz seems to be his preference. He has worked with artists outside his Jazz genre such as Smokey Robinson (R&B) and Bonnie Raitt (Country). As with his Grammy nominated project, I am sure his “Authentic Life” album is just as special – if not more. www.RichardElliot.com www.Shanachie.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall via Zoom Conferencing and Los Angeles Saturday, November 6, 2021 via Zoom Video Conferencing. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering a Business Management Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email [email protected]