Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Blurring the line between jazz and classic soul, producer and singer-songwriter Will Downing has amassed a timeless body of work in his 25-year career. Uniquely gifted with an unmatched arsenal of velvet lows and silky falsetto highs, this versatile crooner has received a GRAMMY nomination, as well as an NAACP Image Award for his excellence on the stage and in the studio.
Downing began as a session singer for the likes of Jennifer Holliday, Kool & The Gang, Billy Ocean and Gerald Albright, before being enlisted by Arthur Baker for the producer's late 1980s group, Wally Jump Jr. & The Criminal Element. Around the same time, Downing launched his solo career. Highlights of his nearly 20-album discography include 1993's Love's the Place to Be; a best-seller both in the US and in the UK, where Downing picked up a strong fan base, while 2000's All the Man You Need was honored with a GRAMMY nomination for Best Traditional R&B Album.
The Will Downing Collection draws from Downing's releases on the Peak record label, beginning with 2007's After Tonight. His most popular release from this era, R&B concept album Love, Lust & Lies: An Audio Novel, features critically acclaimed musical tales of romance, lust, confusion and betrayal, intermingled with spoken-word interludes. Highlights from 2009's Classique include the feel-good grooves of "Something Special" and "I Won't Stop," passionate backbeat driven declarations of eternal love, as well as a cover of Barry White's 1973 hit "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby." Selections from 2007's After Tonight include deftly written soul tunes with Downing's longtime collaborator Rex Rideout, such as "Lover's Melody" and title track "After Tonight."
The Will Downing Collection is a perfect romantic and sultry collection of songs, which highlight the singer's incredible talents both as a writer and as a singer with extensive range and soul.
Audio Mixer: Ray Bardani.