tower of power

Twin Towers

Tower of Power, Average White Band take the stage together this fall at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage.

Staff Report Arts & Entertainment, Current Digital

tower of power
Tower of Power has had a string of hits mixing soul, rock, and pop music.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY AGUA CALIENTE RESORT SPA CASINO RANCHO MIRAGE

Oakland, California music legends, Tower of Power and one of the top soul, R&B, and jazz-funk groups alive, Average White Band, will come to the Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage on Nov. 2. Tickets go on sale July 6.

Formed in Oakland, California in 1968 and considered one of the most dynamic and distinctive bands of survivors in soul music, Tower of Power has forged a reputation as a crack band of high-achieving musicians fluent in all realms of soul, rock and pop music with a sophistication and punch like that of a jazz big band.

Tower of Power came to prominence with a string of acclaimed albums on Warner Bros. Records: Bump City (1972), Tower of Power (1973), Back to Oakland (1974), Urban Renewal (1974), In the Slot (1975) and Live and in Living Color (1976). With a total of eight songs on the Billboard Hot 100, their highest-charting songs include “You’re Still a Young Man,” “So Very Hard to Go,” “What Is Hip?,” “Don’t Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream),” and “You Ought To Be Havin’ Fun.”

Tower of Power is comprised of veteran members Castillo, Kupka, Garibaldi and Prestia, along with outgoing lead singer Ray Greene (now in Santana) and incoming lead singer Marcus Scott, Jerry Cortez (guitar), Roger Smith (Hammond B3 organist/keyboardist), Tom Politzer (1st tenor saxophonist), and Adolfo Acosta and Sal Cracchiolo (trumpets).

Much in demand for studio sessions and live gigs, Tower of Power’s five-piece horn section has performed with hundreds of artists including Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Elton John, Neil Diamond, P.Diddy, Aerosmith, Phish, Santana, Smokey Robinson, Huey Lewis & The News, Toto, Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton, Billy Preston, to name a few.

Best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit “Pick Up the Pieces,” Average White Band’s strength actually lay in their consistently accomplished song-writing, stretching across several gold-selling albums and multi-Grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records. Somewhat incongruously, given their Scottish roots, the six piece took the influences of their R&B heroes – Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Donny Hathaway, and others – and developed their own ‘authentic’ sound.

averagewhiteband

Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre are the only two original members left in the Average White Band.

With a current lineup featuring founding members Alan Gorrie (lead vocals, bass) and Onnie McIntyre (guitar), alongside U.S. heavies Freddy V. (tenor sax), Cliff Lyons (alto sax), Rob Aries (keys, bass), Rocky Bryant (drums), and Brent Carter (lead vocals), Average White Band continues performing to widely eclectic and multi-generational audiences across the globe.

Tower of Power, Average White Band, 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa, 32-250 Bob Hope Drive,  Rancho Mirage, 800-514-3849, AguaCalienteCasinos.com.