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'In The Zone' Celebrates Richard Elliot's Musical Roots

  • Doug Levine

What goes around comes around for tenor saxophonist Richard Elliot, who marks his 25th year as a solo recording artist with a new album celebrating his musical roots.

After reaching the top of the smooth jazz field with Number One albums, hit singles, sold out tours and launching his own record label, Richard Elliot focuses on his Rhythm & Blues influences with In The Zone. It’s an album of mostly original tunes inspired by the jazz and funk music Elliot heard growing up.

“The songs remind me of listening to my heroes in those days and seeing them perform live, feeling incredible joy about the possibility of following in their footsteps,” he explains.

Richard Elliot's "In The Zone" CD

Richard Elliot's "In The Zone" CD

The Scottish-born Elliot began playing sax at age 11, because, as he remembers, he liked its unique shape and design. After high school he worked as a session musician with some of the top R&B artists of the 1970s, including Smokey Robinson and Natalie Cole. He was a member of the band Tower of Power and toured with Huey Lewis and the News before releasing his debut album, Trolltown.

At 51, Richard Elliot continues to embrace the classic R&B melodies of his past. Looking back over the years dedicated to his craft, he believes it was time well spent.

“I don’t gauge my career based on sales, popularity and money, however, what matters most is my personal and artistic growth and the opportunities to record and tour,” he says.

One of the highlights of Elliot’s new release is his remake of the Marvin Gaye classic, “Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler).”