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Black Pearls

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Album Review

The source material for the inspired, all-covers Black Pearls album was popularized strictly by women. It's an unsurprising concept, given that Will Downing made his 1987 solo debut with a version of Deniece Williams' "Free" and went on to cover classics by Rose Royce and Aretha Franklin. The singer's first album for the Shanachie label, this features updates of well-known songs, mostly ballads, that originated in the late '70s and the early '90s. The likes of Jean Carn's "Don't Let It Go to Your Head," Williams' "Black Butterfly," René & Angela's "Your Smile," and Brenda Russell's "Get Here" — easily the biggest crossover hit among the selections — are reinterpreted faithfully with Downing's typical richness and restraint. Phyllis Hyman's "Meet Me on the Moon" (1991), co-written by Gene McDaniels, is the deepest selection, but even that one is far from obscure, and it's evidently as close to Downing's heart as anything else. A characteristically polished recording produced by Downing, it involves discerning use of strings and horns, as well as help from some longtime associates. Wife Audrey Wheeler Downing on background vocals, Melvin Davis on bass, and Randy Bowland on guitar are all along for the trip. Kirk Whalum's flute augments "Nights Over Egypt," and Najee takes a saxophone solo on "Street Life."

Customer Reviews

Loving the remakes so far!!!

Longtime Fan!!!!! I have been listening to the previews...... NOTHING BUT NET!!!!!!!!!!
Do what you do Will!!!!!!

Classic Will

Anything Will does is great 2 me. I have been a fan of Will since his first cd/album. Great in concert . I am waiting on the new cd/album. This brother has a long career in this cut throat business and has shown that he's survivor this business.
I can't wait 2 hear the Ms Hyman song. Please support this true singer.

Sometimes the 2nd go round is better

I am a Will Downing fan. I love his originals and also love the remakes. The single "Everything I Miss At Home" is good. It is done Will's way. I look forward to hearing the rest of the CD when released and look forward to hearing him live when he is in California in September.


Born: November 29, 1963 in New York, NY [Brooklyn]

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

Top Albums and Songs by Will Downing

Black Pearls, Will Downing
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Rock
  • Released: Jul 08, 2016

Customer Ratings


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