Michael Lington grips it and rips it for his finest release yet!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Smooth jazz is essentially dead, easy listening for those struggling with turning forty. Michael Lington has found his wheelhouse with a retro soul approach amped up for the next generation. Fun, funky and fierce may best describe a project that embraces retro soul but with a contemporary freshness that includes two stand out vocal tracks "Gonna Love You Tonight" from Kenny Lattimore and "Leave Me You" with vocalist Ryan Shaw. Memphis Soul has been in the jazz witness protection program for far too long. Granted this is not a new approach but this is one of the more solid efforts to kick start what is arguably the backbone of American music. The reharm on the King Curtis tune "Memphis Soul Stew" includes a high octane horn blast from the past and a lyrical sense of purpose hard to beat.
Contemporary instrumental has become predictable with little changing over the last thirty years other than technology. Michael Lington went old school with new cool results and a sound that puts the sonic paddles to genre long since left for dead by radio programmers and critics alike. A live band allows the warmth and intensity of Lington's style and execution to reach new heights. This particular release is a Michael Lington joint from start to finish. Lighting in a bottle is rare but you can find it here. The sound is every bit the winner as Lington's performance. No music should every sound as though it has been sanitized for your protection. It's o.k. to get a little dirty!
Tracks: Soul Appeal; Taking Off; Uptown Groove; Gonna Love You Tonight; Manhattan Nights; In The Pocket; Leaving Me You; Going Home; Double Down; Memphis Soul Stew; Follow Your Heart.