Summer Romance Starring Jim Brickman & Michael Lington
JIM BRICKMAN's remarkable career includes six gold- and platinum-selling albums, three No. 1 and twelve Top 10 Adult Contemporary radio hits, consistent debuts at No. 1 on Billboard magazine's New Age chart, a 2003 Grammy nomination, a SESAC "Songwriter of the Year" award, a Canadian Country Music Award for "Best Vocal/Instrumental Collaboration," a Dove Award presented by the Gospel Music Association for "The Gift," and over a decade of sold-out international and American concert tours.
It's no surprise that Brickman - who juggles an active career as composer, recording artist, radio personality, and concert headliner - would know the value of music as an important healing tool for relaxing after a stressful day. But it wasn't until he met with fans after his concert performances that he realized how often his music was played as a soothing antidote to the hectic demands of everyday life. When a young couple confided that they couldn't unwind after a harried day without playing his songs, the creator of such hits as "Valentine" and "The Gift" was inspired to write, perform, and produce Escape (2006).
Escape is a vivid tapestry of romantic piano solos, inspiring vocals, and an exciting collection of original and collaborative songs by Brickman and some of the top composers in the country. The album adds new classics to an already impressive repertoire, and includes exquisite piano pieces like "Waterfall," "First Light," and "Barcelona."
The cool, clean beauty of a winter season is celebrated in two new songs: "Winter Waltz," featuring violin artist David Klinkenberg, and the romantic "When It Snows," with vocals by gifted singer/songwriter Geoff Byrd. A gorgeous lullaby, "Goodnight My Angel," features the warm and sensual voice of R&B star Gerald Levert. The Latin-influenced title track is given a fiery sensuality by jazz guitarist Mark Antoine, and another romantically-charged track, "To Hear You Say You Love Me," features the powerful voice of Star Search winner Jake Simpson. Renowned for his heartfelt ballads, Brickman evokes the longing between two people separated by place and fate in "Never Alone," employing the soaring vocals of Sara Evans, the Academy of Country Music's 2006 "Female Vocalist of the Year."
Every year, new audiences discover the charismatic Jim Brickman's music for the first time, and many of them write the artist to tell him how they include his songs in their daily soundtrack as a way of putting the stress and anxiety of an often chaotic world behind them. Escape is designed to make that journey even more magical.
MICHAEL LINGTON has demonstrated his contemporary saxophone chops with a steady stream of chart-toppers since his debut album in 1997. His album Stay with Me (2004) yielded three Radio & Records national jazz hits ("Show Me" at No. 2, "Two of a Kind" at No. 2, and "Pacifica" at No. 6) and remained on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart for a total of 24 weeks. "Twice In a Lifetime," "Sunset," (both from Vivid, 2000) and "Still Thinking of You" (from Everything Must Change, 2002) went Top 5 as well. His duet with Bobby Caldwell on "Tell It Like It Is" from his self-titled debut ascended both jazz and adult contemporary charts.
Leaning strongly towards the pop side of jazz, with classical, Brazilian, Latin, and gospel shadings, Lington plays a distinctive contemporary saxophone. Raised in a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark, Lington is the grandson of Otto Lington, a jazz pioneer in their tiny country, and bandleader for Shirley Bassey, Josephine Baker, and Fats Waller, among many others. As a childhood fan of musicians like Vinnie Colaiuta, Dean Parks, and Randy Waldman, Lington would replay his vinyl jazz recordings again and again, reflecting on the memories of his grandfather's era.
The rich legacy of his grandfather's jazz connection, his classical training, and a stint of touring in Europe led Lington to the U.S. in 1990. At 21, he began performing with Little Richard, Gary "U.S." Bonds, and Randy Crawford. He also landed a four-year touring gig with singer Bobby Caldwell, joining the list of eminent sax players associated with the singer, including Rendezvous co-founder Dave Koz. It was through this collaboration that Michael landed his recording contract, leading to his most recent album, A Song For You (2006).
Lington has been a global touring presence for the past several years. In between his ongoing performances and recordings, he is also a giving performer who lends his artistry to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, an organization that raises funds for children's music programs and provides instruments to public schools all over the U.S. He also participates in Create Now, where he mentors troubled teens in Los Angeles, and Acres of Love, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive services and homes to abandoned and AIDS children in South Africa.
Lington loves classic beauty and expression, whether it comes in the form of a song, his vintage European automobiles, underwater landscapes, a child's smile, or an open sky viewed from behind the instrument panel of a helicopter.