Richard Elliot

Ricochet

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It is unfortunate that a musician with such "funky" credentials as saxophonist Richard Elliot -- he played for Tower of Power, for cryin' out loud -- keeps churning out the same overly programmed, drum-machine-heavy, melodically "lite" Cheez Whiz. The guy has the chops to deliver a lot better than what he comes up with on Ricochet -- arrangements are laid down with a kind of presumptuous "soulfullness," as if Elliot is "really gonna dig in to something here." Instead, listeners get predictable melodies played over stiff rhythm tracks that underline the general lack of funk on Ricochet. Granted, if you are a big fan of instrumental pop or smooth jazz, you'll probably enjoy Elliot's adequate if uninspired cover of the Stylistics' hit "You Make Me Feel Brand New," and a few of the original tunes on the album are pleasant enough as musical wallpaper, but there is little here that can be recommended to anyone but the most die-hard pop-jazz fanatics.

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