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With more than 30 years of recording and touring experience behind them, Tower of Power still garners reviews calling them a "very contemporary sounding band." Melding jazz, funk, rock and soul in a way no other group ever has, the ten-piece outfit is, as a Hollywood Reporter review called them, "tighter than a clenched fist."
Well known in the 70's for tunes like "What is Hip" and "You're Still A Young Man," Tower of Power toured with Sly Stone and Creedence Clearwater Revival, creating traffic jams when they started to headline their own shows. They played on records with the likes of Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Rod Stewart, and Dionne Warwick, and influenced a generation of musicians (including Sting, who has told Emilio Castillo, founder of the group, that he once had a "Tower of Power clone band" before he formed The Police.) Then, in the late 70's Tower of Power quietly disappeared from sight.
Now, Tower of Power is experiencing a renaissance, touring most of every year and packing venues in the U.S., Japan, and all over Europe with its audience of new and old fans.
It has been a long, hard road, but things just keep getting better and better. It has always been difficult to describe ToP's music; even band members, when asked, give myriad responses. Says founding member and saxophonist Emilio Castillo, "What Tower plays is urban soul music." Lead singer Brent Carter calls it "old school funk with new school flavor." And says former Tower saxophonist Lenny Pickett, now musical director for the "Saturday Night Live" television band, "ToP is the world's greatest rhythm and blues band."
In reality, Tower of Power's horn driven, in-your-face sound is all its own, and verbal descriptions fail. You have to experience it for yourself, and then, as Tower fans say, "seein' is believin."
The rest is history, from "What is Hip?" to "Don't Change Horses (In The Middle of the Stream)" to "Soul Vaccination." The Tower went through a down period in the early 80's, but never disbanded. In 1991 the top group made its first record for Epic/Sony, titled "Monster on a Leash," followed by 1993's "T.O.P." and in 1995, "Souled Out."
When not in the studio the band tours constantly, crisscrossing the world, selling out shows at venues from rock halls and theaters to sheds and giant festivals. Staunch fans travel miles and hours to see them; some of those fans plan their vacations to coincide with Tower performances. As if that wasn't enough, in between all those tour dates, the Tower of Power Horn Section has somehow found the time to guest on recordings for a very diverse group of artists – from
Michael Bolton to
What others say --
Hit songs include --
Tower of Power may be available for your next special event.