11 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Alto saxophonist Michael Lington has released several contemporary jazz albums since making his debut in 1997. The Danish expat has always had a way with a ballad, and here he mines every bit of emotion from the gospel-inspired “Follow Your Heart." Yet he also leans more toward uptempo modern R&B, which recalls David Sanborn more than the glossiness of smooth stalwarts Dave Koz and Richard Elliot. This album starts with the upbeat title track, which features a muscular groove from his band; he also comes seriously close to James Brown territory on “Uptown Groove.” Pal and tourmate Michael Bolton sang on 2012’s Pure, and this time Lington is joined by a soulful crooner Kenny Lattimore on “Gonna Love You Tonite” and lesser-known old-school soul man Ryan Shaw for “Leave Me You.” The saxophonist holds his own next to these dynamic guys and positively shines on the classic-sounding “Taking Off” and the bluesy “Manhattan Nights.” This is definitely one for sax maniacs who like their music smooth but not too smooth.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Alto saxophonist Michael Lington has released several contemporary jazz albums since making his debut in 1997. The Danish expat has always had a way with a ballad, and here he mines every bit of emotion from the gospel-inspired “Follow Your Heart." Yet he also leans more toward uptempo modern R&B, which recalls David Sanborn more than the glossiness of smooth stalwarts Dave Koz and Richard Elliot. This album starts with the upbeat title track, which features a muscular groove from his band; he also comes seriously close to James Brown territory on “Uptown Groove.” Pal and tourmate Michael Bolton sang on 2012’s Pure, and this time Lington is joined by a soulful crooner Kenny Lattimore on “Gonna Love You Tonite” and lesser-known old-school soul man Ryan Shaw for “Leave Me You.” The saxophonist holds his own next to these dynamic guys and positively shines on the classic-sounding “Taking Off” and the bluesy “Manhattan Nights.” This is definitely one for sax maniacs who like their music smooth but not too smooth.

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