Richard Elliot

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Crush Review

by Bret Love

Somewhere between the smooth silkiness of R&B and the technically proficient slickness of jazz lies the genre known as quiet storm, which artists like Kenny G have given quite the bad reputation over the years. With its programmed beats, tepid grooves, overstylized production, and substitution of prepackaged romance for genuine passion, the genre's cheesy elements are easy to make fun of. So it's a bit of surprise to hear a cheesy shmaltzmeister like Richard Elliott signed to Verve's subsidiary label, GRP. Though he has solid enough chops, Elliott's sax soloing is virtually indistinguishable from any number of similar artists of the genre. And even after repeated listenings, not one song on this ten-track outing sticks out, although the title track and "Work All Night" do make feeble stabs at funkiness. If you're looking for tunes for your next wooing session, try Barry White or Marvin Gaye instead. Elliott may be a fine sideman, but his compositions leave a lot to be desired.

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