Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Richard Elliot Lip Service 2014

The soundtrack for the horizontal mambo...
Brent Black /
I have loved Richard Elliot since he split from Tower of Power to start one of the finest careers as a contemporary instrumental soloist and hand to god I want to like this one, I don't. Unlike most "smooth jazz" saxophonists whose difference in sound and execution can be measured by the thickness of a sheet of paper, Richard Elliot was on fire. Lip Service is easy listening on steroids, nice melodies and well produced but the jazz / soul hybrid is being and has been done to death.
Power ballads and mid tempo sweet soul morph into a sonic sedative on a shiny silver disc. I'll blame producer Paul Brown as this is his somewhat predictable wheelhouse. The covers are eclectic and range from The Manhattans to Bruno Mars, seriously? After working on the Dave Koz Summer Horns project with some truly classic covers and this is what we get?
I still love Richard Elliot. I just don't love this. I can't...This is so mind-numbingly predictable that the only thing left to say is that this is the prime example of why smooth jazz is on life support.
2 Stars.