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Heat by Michael Lington

NuGroove Records has unleashed the new album Heat from smooth jazz designer Michael Lington. Lington’s saxophone playing is smoking with soft wafting fumes that engulf "That’s When You Save Me" and thick billowing plumes which add fodder to the funky rhythmic grooves of "Shout About Ya’." Every note from Lington’s saxophone has a sophisticated stroll whether it is the emotive puffs he plays along Gerry Rafferty’s tune "Baker Street" or the satiny phrases he performs through "Ladyland." The music is finessed to express a rich palette of positive moods, from the celebratory ringing of "You And I" to the affectionate strokes of "Chuva" and "Angelina" showcasing Lington’s artistry as a poetic balladeer. Heat is an album that can warm up any home and stoke those fireplaces that have gone dim.

The dancefloor beats of "Memphis" are roped in a funky ravel of Lington’s slinky saxophone wraps and Michael Landau’s guitar slings. Lington keeps the listener’s feet dancing with the upbeat tempo of "Ocean Drive" and rigging smoothly rolled funky swirls along "Shout About Ya’" featuring the femininely enchanting Keely Hawke’s on lead vocals. The softer shades of "Ladyland" and "Angelina" are geared towards creating a ambient mood for lovers, picturing them holding hands while walking along a moonlit beach. The intimate setting of these tracks is daydreamy and Lington is very astute at putting the listener in a euphoric stupor. His album shows a dedication to making music that rises up to a level of sheer ecstasy and he brings out a vast arsenal on Rafferty’s "Baker Street" as Ace Young of American Idol fame sings lead vocals, and on Claude Kelly’s song "That’s When You Save Me" with Aaron Neville on lead vocals and Kelly on backing vocals. The sweet sensations emanating from the tailpipe of Lington’s saxophone are intoxicating, but he brings out his best riffs on the closing track "Nostalgia." His crescendos have a stunning shimmer that pulls listeners up to their feet wanting to soar with his notes. It’s a brilliant piece of work that all audiences can appreciate.

Danish born Michael Lington has a number of chart topping singles under his belt since the release of his debut album in 1997. After relocating to the US and recently becoming an American citizen on March 20th, 2008, Lington has recorded and/or performed over the years with such luminaries as Little Richard, Randy Crawford and Bobby Caldwell. He has parlayed his experiences as a sideman into becoming a solo recording artist. Five albums and ten R&R hits later, Lington has earned the respect of his peers and recently toured with Barry Manilow. His sixth solo album Heat was produced chiefly by himself and his keyboardist Greg Phillinganes with Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Santana, The Grateful Dead) producing three tracks on the album. The album is called Heat for a very good reason, and you’ll understand why from the first listen.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Michael Lington
  • CD Title: Heat
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: NuGroove Records
  • Tracks: You And I, Chuva, Ocean Drive, Baker Street, Angelina, Memphis, That’s When You Save Me, Ladyland, Shout About Ya’, Nostalgia
  • Musicians: Michael Lington (saxophone), Torcuato Mariano, Michael Thompson, Tim Pierce, Michael Landau (guitars), Greg Phillinganes, Steve Lu, Danny Sembello, Michael Sembello, Randy Waldman, Brian Culbertson (keyboards), Neil Stubenhaus, Nathan East, Matthew Hager (bass), Vinnie Colauita, Teddy Campbell (drums), Tollak Ollestad (harmonica), Vocals: Janey Clewer, Cameron Stone, Claude Kelly, Aaron Neville, Ace Young, Keely Hawkes (vocals)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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