Alone Together (The Duets)
The Four Tops said it best in the fall of 1966 with their smash hit, 'Reach Out, I'll Be There'. During lockdown, saxophonist Michael Lington communicated with his peers about the idea of live-streaming a virtual show and they responded with much fanfare.
Michael soon realized he needed to continue creating music for his own well being after his tour schedule was cancelled. He thought what better way than to virtually broadcast from his home studio on the online venue for live and interactive performances called StageIt and connect with his fans that way. But streaming live made it difficult to perform the duets.
So each of Michael's performances and those of his guests were pre-recorded separately and later synched in post production. What better time to call on some of the best session players than when they're all at home isolating in their studios waiting to get back in the groove! So drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East, Ray Parker Jr., Paul Jackson Jr., Freddie Washington and so many other elite musicians were all willing to lend a hand as Michael's band.
Lington decided to redo some of the songs he recorded on earlier albums, like Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street' from the album, Heat, with singer Javier Colon (The Voice: Season One winner) kicking it in high gear with one of the most recognizable sax lines ever. Billy Dean contributed his remarkable vocals and guitar on Carole King's 'You've Got A Friend' with considerable resemblance to James Taylor's Billboard Number One hit version from 1971.
Kenny Lattimore brought his Motown vocals to 'Gonna Love You Tonight' originally done by the duo on Lington's 2014 Soul Appeal album. Things stay funky with Brian Culbertson providing trombone on 'Slick' and guitarist, Nick Colionne, on 'Roadtrip' but it's the slow jams where Michael really shines.
Singer Dorian Holley's (Michael Jackson tours) soulful voice resonates on Tower Of Power's 1973 hit, 'So Very Hard To Go' while Dave Koz brings his A-game to Paul McCartney's number one '73 hit, 'My Love' - easily one of the most romantic songs of all time. The pandemic has given us time to spend quality time with our loved ones and this is just the soundtrack for these special moments.
Superstar producer and singer, Pharrell Williams, said recently, "Don't wait for the stars to align...reach up and arrange them the way you want" and that's just what Michael has done. He got everybody alone but together to create an incredible sounding album.
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