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Soul Symphony

Will Downing

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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

Brooklyn vocalist and composer Will Downing has hovered on the cusp of stardom since the late '80s, occasionally making some arresting album cuts but never the major hit or string of records he needed to establish himself. Downing sang in Arthur Baker's "Wally Jump Junior" group, and then employed Baker as his producer when he signed with Island. He did session work in the early and mid-'80s, singing on dates with Daryl Payne, Marc Sadane, Warp 9, and Jennifer Holiday. Downing's 1988 debut, Will...
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Soul Symphony, Will Downing
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