Sensual Journey

Sensual Journey

5.0 14
by Will Downing
The best cuts on smooth-jazz vocalist Will Downing’s Sensual Journey are the ones with the leanest instrumentation. With only guitar and bass backing him, Downing’s “Cool Water” has the passion of an old Spanish love song. “Bolero Nova,” with a Hubert Laws flute running through it, has a Spanish theme but is actually a lush love song, while “Maybe,” with


The best cuts on smooth-jazz vocalist Will Downing’s Sensual Journey are the ones with the leanest instrumentation. With only guitar and bass backing him, Downing’s “Cool Water” has the passion of an old Spanish love song. “Bolero Nova,” with a Hubert Laws flute running through it, has a Spanish theme but is actually a lush love song, while “Maybe,” with light keyboards and a spoken-word opening, is a bedroom ballad that could melt the stoniest heart. For the Brenda Russell/Vinx Parrette-penned tune about verbal abuse, “Don’t Talk to Me like That,” Downing is joined by Vinx (for a fabulous scat solo), vibist Stefon Harris, and organist Ronnie Foster. Together they create layers of lamentation. Stevie Wonder’s “I Can’t Help It” perks along with a hint of Brazil and a Boney James saxophone solo. Downing’s “Home,” which features the saxophone stylings of Gerald Albright, is the kind of catchy tune a lover hums on his ride home. The funky warmth of the Downing-penned “Brooklyn Breezes” is the only hint of urban sounds in the set.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Paula Edelstein
Will Downing moves to a new label and takes romance to new heights on Sensual Journey. The dynamic singer/songwriter and producer is joined by a stellar constellation of musical stars on 11 inspired ballads that will warm even the coldest heart. Downing's proven composing skills are again at their best on such heartfelt tunes as "Home," "Almost Like Being in Love," and "Maybe," to attest to his ability to tell a great story. Best bets are the radio friendly "Cool Water" and"Can't Help It," which present Downing's sophisticated baritone vocals in undiscovered arrangements. Another emphatic arrangement is the mellifluous approach to Brenda Russell's "Don't You Talk to Me Like That," which features Vinx's unique scatting and Downing's one-of-a-kind interpretation of a very personal matter. Despite its title, it is one of the prettiest tunes on the CD because of Stefon Harris' sensitive vibraphone solo. As the CD closes, Will Downing takes his listeners from Brooklyn to the Caribbean via the inspired "Brooklyn Breezes" -- which he co-penned with Kashif -- and "Bolero Nova," a slow, sentimental bolero done with a modern spin. Downing definitely captures the essence of contemporary jazz, classic R&B-soul singing, and the Latin tinge on this excellent recording of his vocal mastery. And so another theme, another concept for the continuing journey into Downing's vast repertory. However, these 11 stories of love with their beautiful harmonies and lush melodies set Sensual Journey apart from his previous efforts because of the splendid musical accompaniment and variety of gorgeous ballads.

Product Details

Release Date:
Grp Records


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Will Downing   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Kashif   Guitar,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Vesta   Background Vocals
Gerald Albright   Saxophone
Ronnie Foster   Organ,Keyboards
Hubert Laws   Flute
John Beasley   Piano,Keyboards
Russell Malone   Guitar
Vinx   Background Vocals,scat
Boney James   Saxophone
Bashiri Johnson   Percussion
Ray Brown   Trumpet
Dave Carpenter   Bass
Kevin Chokan   Guitar
Luis Conte   Percussion
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Melvin Davis   Bass
Ronnie Garrett   Bass,Background Vocals
James Genus   Acoustic Bass
Gregory Hutchinson   Drums
Marcus Miller   Bass
Sandra Park   Strings
Rex Rideout   Keyboards
Lee Ritenour   Guitar,Keyboards
John "J.R." Robinson   Drums
Sandy Stein   Keyboards
Yergenia Strenger   Strings
Michael White   Drums
Marc Antoine   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Elizabeth Lim   Strings
Michael Hart Thompson   Guitar
Rohn Lawrence   Guitar
Will Kennedy   Drums
Gary Levinson   Strings
Stefon Harris   Vibes
Kowan "Q" Paul   Bass,Keyboards
Darcy Aldridge   Vocals,Background Vocals
Blake English   Guitar
Lisa Kim   Strings
Fiona Simon   Strings
Phil Jackson   Background Vocals
Tariqh Akoni   Guitar
Jung Sun Yoo   Strings
Karen Marx   Strings
Mika Lett   Background Vocals
Jochem van der Saag   Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Sampling,Talk Box

Technical Credits

Will Downing   Producer,Engineer
Ronnie Foster   Producer,Engineer
John Beasley   Producer,String Arrangements
Nelson Rodriguez   grooming,Groomer
Ronnie Garrett   Producer
Alec Head   Engineer
Don Murray   Engineer
Rex Rideout   Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer
Lee Ritenour   Arranger,Producer
Sandy Stein   Producer
Michael Hart Thompson   Engineer
Hollis King   Art Direction
Phil Temple   Executive Producer
Kowan "Q" Paul   Producer,drum programming
Blake English   Engineer,Pro-Tools
Jochem van der Saag   Arranger,drum programming,Percussion Programming,Sample Programming

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Sensual Journey 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best albums I've heard all year. Wills music is such a great way to end my work days.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Will has always had the ability to make you believe in love and here again this CD is nothing less than enchanting an eclectic mix with his personal signature. Just love the man.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THE WHOLE ENTIRE CD!!!!!! Will, boy you have outdone yourself here! The only thing that could possibly be better is the live version. Looking foward to a summer of concerts. If I had to describe this CD in one word it would be DELICIOUS!!!!!! Flower
Guest More than 1 year ago
''Good Things Come For Those Who Wait''.That's what Will have done so far with his career. Rather than Luther Vandross and Freddie Jackson - idols for the genre audience that sought pop recognition and failed to achieve it releasing pop albuns abandoning their smoothness, Downing kept his work with small but loyal admirers in search of market awareness accomplished with this latest release through Universal.Attention lexicographers - Will Downing stands for smooth ! Encore!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I own all of Will's disc and this one is just like the others. Magnificent!!! Other artist sing or sang but Will blows, as in blows them away. The live instruments are awesome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mom addicted me to Will early in life. I was going to school singing ''I Go Crazy'' and ''I Try'' back in the 8th grade. I'm glad she exposed me to good music early in life. This CD is no different. It's just good music. Bolero Nova is stunning. And the Mike 'off the wall' cover of ''I Can't Help It'' just iced the entire project. Spectacular effort and product Mr. Downing. Your music is timeless.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hello Loyal Will Downing Fans, This Kandi from the STL writing to give a timeless artist his much deserved ''props.'' With me being part of the younger generation of WIll D. fans, I am proud to say that I have an ear for as Will would say ''adult music.'' Sensual Journey does just that, it takes you on a trip that is filled with warmth, a bottle of chardonnay and a companion that definitely has appreciation for an evening of paradise. Again Will D. has proved that he is a soulful and talented artist. Look forward to more and am on the edge of my seat waiting for the tour!! Congratulations Will and to all faithful fans, be blessed and keep listening.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you Will, for returning to the sensual smoothness that got me interested in your music.This one is definitely a classic already.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, to be quite honest I've not purchased this album (as yet) but I could just imagine what's in store. Actually, the first song I heard for Will was ''I try''. I was also privileged to see the video for same and ever since it was a haunting experience to just think about his music and not enquire. When I did get the opportunity to do so via the Internet I wasted no time in writing down ALL of his albums and you know what was next, well I simply bought them ALL. The only one missing from my collection is SENSUAL JOURNEY, and I know it wouldn't be for long. By the way, one of my favourite songs is ''Nothing has ever felt'' with Rachelle Ferris.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Will Downing's new CD "Sensual Journey" is flowing with romantic elements of a lover's heart, and a womans fantasy. Will has truly outdone himself on this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the flow of the cd. If i could only find real guy that could be like the guy in the songs i'd be happy. But until such time I will love, love love this cd. It makes my fantasy a reality as least til the cd ends. How can i get the lyrics on the net I've been having trouble with that>
Guest More than 1 year ago
Listening to Will Downing reminds me of the cartoon with the crooning bird and hens (admirers) surrounding him screaming "Franky", then collapsing immediately. The effect that his music have on many listeners make them believe there's still romance in this world. In his music it's not about "let me wet you" "throw you against the wall, with handcuffs on" (which may be sensual for some on the S&M tip). No, none of the rough stuff; no S&M here. It's passionate and secure love music. The title of his latest CD states its righful claim: Sensual. My favorite song - I like them all - is Bolero Nova. I own 1 Freddy CD and 1 Luther CD, as far as Will Downing, I own all of them. This man will go down in history as the "Franky" of our day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to Will Downing attempting to find out who was the man singing the duet with another singer(I cant even remember now) on another CD. His voice was so captivating, his style so unique that it stood out in a duet!! I started doing my research to see if he had any cd's of his own. My first CD --Moods - IT BLEW ME COMPLETELY friend laughs and says you have to be Will Downings biggest fan. Since then I've collected every CD he has and received my wish to see him in concert at beautiful Chastain Park in Atlanta a perfect venue for a man of class. You will not be disappointed with any CD you choose!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great cd, ecspecially the remake of "I Can't Help It". Will's voice just takes you to another world with "Maybe". He is an outstanding artist, I highly recommend this cd to new and old fans.