Richard Elliot has been blowing audiences away with his talent for more than 30 years and is now set to release Lip Service, an album that celebrates romance. Currently playing on the "Summer Horns" tour with fellow saxophonists Dave Koz, Mindi Abair and Gerald Albright, Elliot has delivered a 10-song album featuring seven new original compositions and three covers of soul and pop hits from the '80s ("Shining Star" by The Manhattans), the '90s ("Anytime" by Brian McKnight) and today ("When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars). In collaboration with contemporary jazz guitar giant Paul Brown, this is the 17th solo project by Elliot.
"It's not a radical departure," Elliot says with a chuckle, "just a softer edge. The intensity is still there, just channeled in a different way. I've been madly in love with my wife Camella for 20 years (courtship and marriage combined). Romance has always been an important part of our relationship. With five children, there's never a dull moment in our home but we always take time away for us...something we never had to work at. It just gets better every year - and that's not lip service!"
A Southern Californian to the core, slow burning intensity has been Richard Elliot's stock-in-trade since debuting as a member of the novel Chapman Stick-based quartet Kittyhawk in 1979 at the age of 19. With influences ranging from Grover Washington, Jr. to John Klemmer, his broad range of saxual expression knows no bounds. He has topped charts and toured the world as a leader as well as with innovative groups such as Guitars & Saxes and Tower of Power.