Classique

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Will Downing has become an institution. Beginning with his self-titled debut in 1988, he has consistently cut singles and albums that have entered the charts and remained there, no matter how many trends have come and gone or how much the nature of the music business has changed. There's a reason for this: Downing is a classic urban R&B singer. His gorgeous smooth, deeply personal delivery connects emotionally with the listener; his song choices are more often than not excellent; and his arrangements and production teams are extremely sophisticated in that they consistently understate his talent, drawing the listener in gently but intently. The title of his 2009 effort, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Will Downing has become an institution. Beginning with his self-titled debut in 1988, he has consistently cut singles and albums that have entered the charts and remained there, no matter how many trends have come and gone or how much the nature of the music business has changed. There's a reason for this: Downing is a classic urban R&B singer. His gorgeous smooth, deeply personal delivery connects emotionally with the listener; his song choices are more often than not excellent; and his arrangements and production teams are extremely sophisticated in that they consistently understate his talent, drawing the listener in gently but intently. The title of his 2009 effort, Classique, produced by Downing and Rex Rideout, may be a bit misleading: it is not a compilation but a brand-spanking new collection of contemporary jazz-inflected R&B -- in other words, classic Downing. The album's first single, "Something Special" -- with its hand drums, loops, and slippery flute flitting around a well-placed and subtle horn section with Rideout's sexy keyboards and Darrell Crooks' guitar cutting under the mix -- is at its core a popping midtempo love song. Elsewhere, his cover of Barry White's "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More Baby" reveals just how deep the master's influence is on Downing. He may not have the full depth of White's baritone, but he gets close, and his expressiveness and emotional connection to the song make it shine. The completely old-school Marvin Gaye ballad "Baby I'm for Real" features a duet appearance by Phil Perry. It's convincing and utterly gorgeous. But not only do the covers work here; Downing's originals connect too -- and not just the aforementioned single, but "Love Suggestions," "Ride," and "Let's Make It Now" also reveal the depth and breadth of Downing's songwriting. Classique is indeed everything its title claims it is, and perhaps more. This is old-school urban R&B without a hint of nostalgia or pandering gimmickry.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/16/2009
  • Label: Concord Records
  • UPC: 888072312784
  • Catalog Number: 31278
  • Sales rank: 47,749

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Will Downing Primary Artist, Background Vocals
Dwayne Smith Bass Guitar
Phil Perry Background Vocals
Randy Bowland Guitar
Darrell Crooks Guitar
Melvin Davis Bass Guitar
Ronnie Garrett Bass, Bass Guitar
Ron King Horn
Gary Meeks Horn
Rex Rideout Keyboards
Tony Tolbert Background Vocals
Michael White Drums
Buddy Williams Drums
Jerry Brooks Bass, Bass Guitar
Michael White Drums
Mike Logan Keyboards
Herman "P Nut" Johnson Drums
Audrey Wheeler Downing Background Vocals
Sherrita Tolbert Background Vocals
Gary Meeks Horn
Aja Downing Background Vocals
J.J. Williams Drums
Technical Credits
Will Downing Composer, Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Marvin Gaye Composer
Gary Taylor Composer
Barry White Composer
Randy Bowland Composer, Engineer
Ian Fraser Engineer
Ronnie Garrett Engineer
Anna Gordy Gaye Composer
Chris Gehringer Mastering, Remastering
Michael Logan Composer
Rob Paustian Engineer
Rex Rideout Composer, Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Tony Tolbert Composer
Jan Crutchfield Composer
Michael White Engineer
Manfred Knoop Engineer
Jason Robbins Engineer
Herman "P Nut" Johnson Composer
Larissa Collins Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    It's good to see the Brother still putting forth great stuff!

    Will Downing's CD is great for the car, background music with friends, or just straight listening.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Everything he touches turns out well.

    This is one of those CD's that you won't need to use the skip forward button on.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews