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Soul Symphony

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Album Review

Two years after Emotions and three after his exceptional Sensual Journey, singer/songwriter and producer Will Downing returns with Soul Symphony. There is something utterly timeless about Downing's approach. His new soul m.o. brings his mellifluous baritone to the listener in a silky smooth yet beat-driven tunnel of emotive reflection that goes right to the heart. Once more, Downing surrounds himself with the cream of the studio crop, like guitarist Wah Wah Watson, Rex Rideout on keyboards, and bassist Melvin Davis, just to mention a few. Downing wrote only about half the album this time out, and on these tracks he collaborated with bandmembers who wrote the majority of the rest. The album's beautiful hinge is the cover of Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell's "Superstar." But the slippery syncopation of "Crazy Love" and the shimmering acoustic guitar and hand drums that drive "Heart of Mine" are stellar as well. There isn't anything radically new here, but why should there be when Downing has reached as close to perfecting his sound as he's going to get?

Biography

Born: 1963 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Throughout a career that dates back to the early '80s, Will Downing has been among the steadiest and most productive artists in R&B. Not cut out to hop aboard commercial production trends for the sake of attaining mainstream success, he has tended to stick resolutely to a sophisticated and modern sound based in soul and jazz. He mixes refined originals with spirited covers, and combines his deep and rich voice with a restrained "song first" approach. Downing doesn't have many major singles by the...
Full bio
Soul Symphony, Will Downing
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