175

Richard Elliot: Crush

By

Sign in to view read count
Richard Elliot: Crush After a decade-long string of commercially successful albums on Blue Note, smooth sax titan Richard Elliot has jumped to GRP and released his label debut, Crush. Aside from the label, not much has changed. Elliot and his composing/programming/production partners Steven Dubin, Jeff Lorber, Tim Heintz, and Paul Brown still have their collective thumb solidly on the pulse of today’s smooth jazz format. This album should do very well on the airwaves and on the charts.

But this is manufactured music. It’s studio polished and perfected, but lifeless. On his previous outings, Elliot has distinguished himself from the crowded field of saxophonists with his spirited, muscular sound - instantly recognizable with his right-on pitch, perfectly controlled vibrato, and soul-drenched emotiveness. But even Elliot seems bored and listless; he noodles around on each song’s framework without the total commitment to the musical moment that we’re used to hearing. His sound has lost its punch and seems bland.

The recipe has been followed to the letter. There are guest shots from Jonathan Butler and Sue Ann Carwell (for the two token vocal entries), Greg Phillinganes, and Paul Jackson, Jr., and Jeff Lorber. The familiar horns of Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Larry Williams, and Bill Reichenbach are called upon to punch up a few tunes, and Lenny Castro peppers it with percussion throughout, but for these guys, it’s just another day in the studio.

Nothing of real interest pops up until the last two songs. “Shotgun,” with guitarist Jeff Golub and drummer Ricky Lawson, and “Sticky Wicked,” with a totally different cast, finally provide the excitement, soulfulness, and toe-tapping R&B groove needed to engage the listener. Elliot responds to the energy and turns in the kind of perky, gutsy performance we’re used to hearing. But it may be too little, too late to save the entire disc. (GRP 314 549 774)


Title: Crush | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Triloka Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties" CD/LP/Track Review The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Columbia Years 1968-1969" CD/LP/Track Review Columbia Years 1968-1969
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "An Eclipse Of Images" CD/LP/Track Review An Eclipse Of Images
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "King For A Day" CD/LP/Track Review King For A Day
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.