April 28, 2005

Saxophonist Richard Elliot is in a funky, retro Metro Blue mood

Debut album for the ARTizen label hits stores June 28th, co-headlining the Jazz Attack Tour
Like a booming metropolis, saxman Richard Elliot is a rhythmic force of funk and fire, diverse and distinctive, passionate and powerful, soulful and seductive. A consistent chart-topper, Elliot will release the Metro Blue album on June 28th. It’s his fourteenth solo collection, yet his debut for the newly launched ARTizen Music Group record label, of which he is a partner.  Elliot’s emotive sax and Rick Braun’s muted trumpet and flugelhorn help set the tone on the first track being serviced to smooth jazz radio, a cover of The Stylistics’ moody classic, “People Make The World Go Round.” 
Metro Blue was produced by Braun and Elliot, who collaborated on nine original songs. Joining them in the studio were Jeff Lorber, Peter White, Brian Culbertson, Dwight Sills, Gregg Karukas, Lenny Castro, Rex Rideout, Ronnie Garret, Nate Philips and Phil Davis. The record sounds slick and contemporary yet recalls dusty vintage funk records from the 1970s when hot horn sections and cool keyboards helped create the vibe. On tracks like “Inside Out,” “Say It’s So,” “Mystique,” and “Maxi’s,” Elliot’s sax is muscular and robust, blowing big hooky choruses over R&B beats and dance grooves. When the tempo slows, as on “Camella” (named for Elliot’s wife), “People Make The World Go Round,” and the title track, Elliot chills, backing off the intensity in favor of romance and gentle melodies. 

RichardElliotMetroBlue.jpg“This album release really represents a turning point for me,” said Elliot. “The creative experience of working with Rick (Braun) coupled with the freedom of controlling our own destiny with the new label is pushing me into new directions creatively. I feel so lucky to be working with such inventive and creative people.”
To help launch and support the album release, Elliot is teaming with Braun, White and Jonathan Butler for the luminous Jazz Attack U.S. concert tour, with dates now through summer. Although his career began in a recording studio backing Motown legends such as Smokey Robinson and The Temptations, the stage has always been a big part of Elliot’s repertoire ever since he was a teenager when he toured with Melissa Manchester.   He went on to spend five formative years performing with Tower Of Power. While his highly successful solo recording career has made him an icon in the contemporary jazz radio world, Elliot has always devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy to his live performance schedule, one that helped him connect with fans across the country, forging an enduring relationship. 
Off stage, the Scotland-born, Los Angeles-reared Elliot has demonstrated his astute entrepreneurial skills as a co-founder of innovative Internet multimedia company PacificNet. He’s now partnered with Braun, their long-time manager Steve Chapman, and industry veteran Al Evers to create the ARTizen Music Group. Although the initial releases will be new product from Elliot and Braun, other artists will be signed to the label for new releases and ARTizen will release catalogue pieces from veteran artists. The Sherman Oaks, California-based record company is distributed in the United States by Ryko Distribution.                                                              
Richard Elliot’s Metro Blue album contains the following songs:
“Inside Out”                                                              “Chill Bill”
“Camella”                                                                 “Mystique”
“Coastline”                                                               “Mango Tango”
“People Make The World Go Round”                       “Maxi’s”
“Say It’s So”                                                              “Metro Blue”

Catch Elliot co-headlining the Jazz Attack concert tour on the following tour dates (dates may be added):
* April 28                  West Palm Beach, FL                               SunFest
May 13                    Henderson, NV                                       Sunset Station Hotel & Casino
May 14                    Phoenix, AZ                                            Celebrity Theatre
May 15                    Newport Beach, CA                 Newport Beach Jazz Festival                  
May 28                    San Diego, CA                                        KIFM-FM Anniversary Party
May 29                    Fresno, CA                                              Tower Theatre
May 30                    Half Moon Bay, CA                   Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay Resort
May 31                    Harrisburg, PA                                        Whitaker Center
June 2                     Glenside, PA                                            Keswick Theatre
June 3                     Richmond, VA                                          Kanawha Plaza
June 4                     Westbury, NY                                          North Fork Theatre at Westbury
June 5                     Washington, DC                                       Capital Jazz Festival
June 6                     Durham, NC                                            Carolina Theatre of Durham
June 9                     Clearwater, FL                                        Ruth Eckerd Hall
June 16                   Milwaukee, WI                                         Potawatomi Bingo Casino
June 17-18              Chicago, IL                                              Skyline Stage/Navy Pier
June 19                   Dublin, OH                                               Wendy’s Corporate Headquarters
June 21                   Cleveland, OH                                         Playhouse Square/Palace Theatre
June 22                   St. Louis, MO                                           Orpheum Theatre
June 23                   Kettering, OH                                           Fraze Pavilion
June 24                   Southfield, MI                                           WVMV-FM Smooth Jazz Festival
June 25                   Saratoga, NY                                           JVC Fest/Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 26                   Hampton, VA                                           Hampton Jazz Festival
July 2                       Healdsburg, CA                                       Rodney Strong Vineyards
July 16                     Pasadena, CA                                         Pasadena Jazz Festival/Brookside Park
* July 22                  Carlsbad, CA                                           Four Seasons Resort Aviara
August 5                  Sacramento, CA                                      Radisson Hotel Outdoor Grove
August 6                  Woodinville, WA                                       Chateau St. Michelle
* August 12              Newport Beach, CA                 Hyatt Newporter
* August 14              Temecula, CA                                          Thornton Winery
* August 27              Akron, OH                                               Lock 3 Live Amphitheatre
* Not a Jazz Attack concert date – only Richard Elliot with his band

Posted by Peter Böhi at April 28, 2005 8:17 PM