Richard Elliot, born on January 16, 1960, in Scotland and later transplanted to Los Angeles, is a celebrated saxophonist known for his dynamic and multifaceted career in instrumental music, particularly within the contemporary urban jazz genre. His early passion for R&B and the Motown sound deeply influenced his musical style and choices.
Elliot’s professional journey in the world of jazz began with his tenure in the jazz-rock unit KittyHawk, where he played both the lyricon (a wind synthesizer) and the saxophone, contributing to several of their albums. His career took a significant turn when he joined the renowned funk band Tower of Power. His five-year stint with Tower of Power in the 1980s was a formative period, where he played tenor saxophone and honed his skills in a high-energy ensemble setting.
In addition to his time with Tower of Power, Elliot also had a stint as a member of the Yellowjackets, further diversifying his experience in different jazz styles. This period was marked by his collaboration with other notable artists and groups, providing him with a broad platform to refine his artistry.
Elliot’s solo career took flight following his tenure with these groups. They marked the beginning of a highly successful solo career, characterized by numerous #1 albums and a consistent presence at the top of the Billboard and NAC charts. His versatility as an artist is evident in his ability to blend and innovate within various jazz and R&B styles.
Richard Elliot’s journey from being a member of influential bands like Tower of Power and the Yellowjackets to establishing himself as a prominent solo artist in contemporary urban jazz is a testament to his talent, adaptability, and enduring appeal in the world of jazz