With a reputation as the undisputed master of seductively smooth soul, Will Downing will release his new CD ‘Silver’, on February 12, 2013. Given the sumptuously sensual vibe of this classy twelve cut collection it will prove to be the perfect ingredient for a Valentines Night to remember yet this, Downing’s sixteenth album, is ostensibly in celebration of his twenty five years of recording excellence. ‘Silver’ is not a ‘Best Of’ or ‘Greatest Hits’ project. It is however a sweet combination of something ‘old’, something ‘new’, something ‘borrowed’ but nothing ‘blue’. Not only that, for loyalists that have been there from day one, this is Will’s gift to them, it’s their ‘Silver Anniversary’.
Downing’s fans will instantly relate to an enthralling ten-minute merging of three of his best ever cover versions. A suitably soul charged take on The Paul Davis tune ‘I Go Crazy’ and Angela Bofill’s ‘I Try’ (both from Downing’s 1991 offering ‘A Dream Fulfilled’) sit either side of his stunning rendition of the 1989 Rose Royce blockbuster ‘Wishing On A Star’. This easy grooving tone is beautifully maintained by the first single to be serviced to radio, ‘Stuff That I Like’, which complete with a beat that Steppers will find irresistible, is one of four all new tunes written by Downing and long-time collaborator Chris “Big Dog” Davis. Another new song that finds Downing in top-notch form is the emotionally charged ‘Never Find Another Love’ and although the Caribbean flavored ‘What Would You Do?’ glides along on an enticing groove its when rising star Avery Sunshine joins Downing for ‘You Were Meant Just For Me’ that things really get interesting. With its powerhouse multi layered instrumental backing this is a number in the very best traditions of great soul duets.
Despite the abundance of fine music that ‘Silver’ has to offer a real highpoint is how Downing takes the opportunity to pull together the very best of his three self-released four track EPs, ‘Today’, ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Tomorrow’. The fact he harvests seven astounding songs from them is a glowing tribute to the quality of these often overlooked gems and cases in point are the silky smooth ‘One Step Closer’ and the equally stunning ‘The Blessing’. Both are from the ‘Today’ release while just as good is the sensationally soulful ‘Send For Me’ from ‘Yesterday’.
Another ‘make out’ number of the highest order is ‘Only One’ (from ‘Tomorrow’) and when Downing delves deeper into ‘Today’ for the wonderful ‘Sexy’, the title just about tells you all you need to know. It’s right up there with the best that ‘Silver’ has to offer and, in this respect, is in the splendid company of Downing’s outstanding interpretation of The Miracles 1965 classic ‘Ooh Baby Baby’. Taken from ‘Yesterday’, this track totally stands the test of time yet all things considered a real personal favorite is the sensuous ‘Falling’. Not only is it a shining example of where quiet storm meets smooth jazz in the most memorable of ways but also another reason why great soul music never gets old.