MICHAEL LINGTON – Multi-talented saxophonist, producer and composer Michael Lington has arrived in his own sacred space with the release of his newest and ninth solo project, Second Nature, which came out on Copenhagen Music in April 2016. “The title of the album refers to being at one with my instrument and the music,” shares Lington. “My vision for this project was Retro-Modern! While honoring the original vibe of the Memphis sound, I wanted to put my own stamp on it. This recording is about going back to my roots, to the music that inspired me to play the saxophone and move to America,” explains the handsome and charismatic saxophonist. Second Nature brings Lington full-circle as he pays tribute to the music he first fell in love with while a teen in Copenhagen, Denmark. Nearly 5,000 miles away from the Mecca of blues and soul, Lington listened to the radio and dreamt while falling in love to the music of Sam Cooke, King Curtis and Jr. Walker, among others. “Even as a young musician I connected with the songs because they were written well and had great messages,” recalls Lington. “The performances were outstanding and the artists were original and authentic.” Michael Lington’s own soulful spirited sound and the roots of Memphis soul converge on Second Nature.
Showcasing all originals with the exception of one lone cover and chart-topping soul anthem, “Soul Finger.” Michael Lington creates melodic musical wonders punctuated by stirring horn sections, grooving bass lines, a swirling organ, funky guitar licks and driving rhythms. In preparing for this album, Lington immersed himself in the classic Memphis sessions and even journeyed to the STAX museum. While most of the album was recorded at the famed Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, Lington also recorded at the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, which has churned out sessions for everyone from Al Green, Chuck Berry and Buddy Guy to Ike and Tina Turner, Solomon Burke, Otis Rush and Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland. Lington’s SOUL mission on Second Nature is simple. The Los Angeles based saxophonist explains, “I wanted to create up-tempo songs with a party feel. When people hear the music, I want them to have a fun time listening and for the music to be able to make them feel good no matter what is going on.”
Michael Lington is a visionary and a dreamer. He thinks outside the box whether it is in music or other areas of life. How many other chart-topping musicians can boast owning their own Cigar and Winery companies? Putting his enthusiasm and fearlessness to the test on Second Nature, Lington hits optimal stride with an enviable star-studded cast. The all-star line-up that Lington has assembled is a testament to the respect and adoration he has garnered in the industry through the years. “It’s good to have talented friends,” laughs the amiable Lington. “I could not have recorded this project without the incredible contributions from the many great musicians I called upon.” Second Nature unites a who’s who list in music that transcends genre and musical boundaries, including GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and venerable bluesman Booker T. Jones and The Dap Kings, the celebrated soul/funk outfit most notably known for their hit-making collaborations with Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse. Lington also enlists help from Hollywood Walk of Fame recipient, multi-Platinum and GRAMMY-winning guitarist Ray Parker Jr. and chart-topping vocalist Taylor Dane. Brian Culbertson fans will be delighted to hear the pianist surprisingly featured on trombone. Producer/songwriter Barry Eastmond (Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Brandy, Kenny Lattimore, Al Jarreau) who produced Lington’s 2014 recording Soul Appeal joins forces once again with Lington and the chemistry is electric. The duo has done two albums together and written over sixty songs with one another. “We share a musical and personal admiration and respect for one another. One of the things I admire is that Barry’s main barometer is that the music must FEEL good and be spontaneous – and previously I have always strived for perfection, and as Barry points out …perfection to who? Music is not supposed to be perfect, it’s supposed to feel good!” Songwriting is an integral part of Michael Lington’s musical identity. He either wrote or co-wrote all the songs on Second Nature with the exception of “Soul Finger.” “Songwriting is where you can really put your own stamp on your artistry,” states Lington. “When you have a song you wrote that you are really proud of and/or it becomes a hit, there is nothing that beats that feeling,” confides Lington, who counts Stevie Wonder as among one of this favorite composers.
Lington who became a U.S. citizen in 2008, has performed numerous times for the Danish royal family, including the wedding reception of Crown Prince Frederik, the country’s future king. In addition, the saxophonist have done extended stints as a special guest with many other musical superstars, including Barry Manilow, Bobby Caldwell, Randy Crawford and Michael Bolton. On Bolton’s tour, he played more than 300 shows in over 50 countries. One of its many highlights was performing in London’s famed Royal Albert Hall and also performing and meeting former President Bill Clinton at a special show at the Kuwait embassy.
Michael will be the headlining the 2016 Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest on Saturday, November 19 at Heritage Park in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. The Jazz Fest Concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. FREE admission tickets and reserved seating tickets are available to order at sibjazzfest.ticketleap.com/9th-annual-sib-jazz-fest.