Michael Lington is a Danish-American contemporary saxophonist, songwriter, producer, recording artist and a purveyor of soul and contemporary jazz.
When 2020 began, Michael Lington was eagerly looking forward to many wonderful events – the impending birth of his son Landon, touring again with his fellow saxophone stars Vincent Ingala and Paul Taylor as Sax to the Max, and numerous European solo dates. Then COVID-19 hit, and the resulting lockdown scrambled everything. Prevented from hitting the road, Lington quickly turned his home studio into one of contemporary jazz’s premiere virtual performance destinations, with a popular ongoing series of weekly shows on the StageIt platform.
In a year like no other, the pandemic has wreaked havoc with our health, the economy and our day to day lives – but with the release of his latest recording Alone Together on Peak Records, the innovative artist and his array of musical friends (from the worlds of contemporary jazz and beyond) remind us it can’t stop the flow of creativity and determination to bring fans together to experience a collective joy like no other.
“Alone Together is a unique project that presented itself in many shapes and forms,” Lington says. “When the pandemic started and all my touring was postponed indefinitely, I knew I needed to continue creating music for my own well-being. It was more a matter of my mental health than financial survival. I didn’t want to sit around feeling stagnant and unproductive. That’s when I started doing my virtual shows from my studio."
“A few shows in,” he adds, “I started inviting special guests to perform with me, but as technology wasn’t allowing for ‘live’ duets we did it literally ‘alone together’ from separate locations as a pre-record. The most exhilarating part was that my fellow artists that I invited all said yes immediately – and the same goes for the selections I made for this album. At a time when I thought I might not be working at all, I’ve never worked so hard in my life to bring all the musical and technical elements together. This has been a very difficult juncture in all of our lives, but what it has shown me is that we as human beings are very cable of adapting and uniting, even in the most challenging of circumstances.”
In addition to the opportunity for fans to once again experience favorite warm-hearted and transcendent moments of the StageIt shows, the tracks on Alone Together allow everyone to revisit some of the most compelling original and cover songs from Lington’s multi-faceted 20-plus year solo discography. Opening with a rousing version of “Baker Street” featuring Javier Colon (from Heat), the set includes “Everything Must Change” feat. Chris Walker (Everything Must Change), “Gonna Love You Tonight” feat. Kenny Lattimore (Soul Appeal), “My Love” feat. Dave Koz (Stay With Me), “Some Kinda Way feat. Sy Smith (Second Nature), “Slick” feat. Brian Culbertson (Second Nature), “So Very Hard to Go” feat. Dorian Holley (Silver Lining), “Road Trip” (feat. Nick Colionne) (Pure) and “You’ve Got a Friend” feat. Billy Dean (A Song For You). Lington also fires up a dynamic horn conversation with superstar saxman Boney James on Boney’s #1 hit “Up All Night.”
"We captured a spirit and vibe beyond anything I could have imagined. It’s not about being perfect but all about the heart and soul. It’s exciting to now share that magic again on Alone Together."