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Michael Lington – Silver Lining

May 10, 2018

One of the coolest and most solid saxmen in the biz, Denmark’s own Michael Lington, is back and, as usual, flaunting his own brilliant stylish way with a new release titled Silver Lining. The slick and soulful release touches on the blues, that Memphis groove, and the soul of the music that never seems to leave those of us who are true aficionados of real soul music. Lington has often told us through his music that he has a strong affinity for that southern soul flair.

With an abundance of that rich, clear, and expressive sax shine, Lington is joined here by guest artists guitarists Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics who also helped to immortalize the Candy Dulfer classic “Lily Was Here,” guitarists Paul Jackson Jr., Ray Parker Jr., bassists Alex Al and Freddie Washington, percussionist Lenny Castro, and a host of others. This is truly a can’t miss effort bearing all the markings of one of the most exquisite and deep-reaching music eras of our lifetime.

Leading off with the powerful and high-steppin’ “City Life” featuring guitarist Stewart, the saxman takes us on a stroll down Soulville that includes treats like “Break the Ice,” a track that so reminds me of the Rufus Thomas/Robert Parker grooves of that day; a remarkable cover of The Impressions’ “People Get Ready” featuring sterling vocals by legendary Stax crooner William Bell; the tight and smooth title track featuring the skilled fingers of the album’s co-writer keyboardist/pianist Barry Eastman; the sweet and saxy romance-laden “Can’t Say Goodbye” (oh yeah, this is one of those candlelight moments) that also bears that inspired gospel and blues feel (some of that Al Green, Aretha Franklin medicine for your soul, if you will); the snappy, get-your-groove-on “M-Funk” featuring guitarist Parker; a little of that bluesy Cannonball vibe as we go “Swingin’ On Main Street;” a memorable cover of Tower of Power’s “So Very Hard to Go” featuring great vocals by Dorian Holley; and more.

Michael Lington is one of those saxmen who doesn’t just feel the groove; he is the groove as he lets himself become engulfed in what true soul, R&B, and c-jazz music should really embody – the soul. Oh yes, with everything in such a mess in the world today, this refreshing gem is truly that Silver Lining we can welcome with open arms.Ronald Jackson