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Will Downing: Euphoria

Reviewed by Heikki Suosalo

Rating: 9/ 10

Soul Express CD of the Month - January-March 2014

US Sophisticated Soul, 2014
Buy this album from our CD Shop

1) Turn Off the Lights 5:14
2) Too High 4:34
3) You Can Bring Me Flowers 4:58
4) If I Were a Magician 3:54
5) Meu Bem Querer 3:45
6) Lush Life 4:05
7) Heaven in Your Eyes 4:20
8) She's Gone 5:13

  ‘Elegant’ is the key word in describing Will Downing’s music.  Only eight songs on display and the running time of mere 36 minutes, the latest CD, Euphoria (Sophisticated Soul;, is actually Will’s 17th studio album and I for one am a proud owner of all of them on Island, Mercury, Verve, Motown, Peak Records, Concord and Sophisticated Soul (

  Produced by Will himself, he writes on the sleeve that “I decided to go back to my roots, a combination of Jazz and R&B”, and indeed, backed by a skilful combo, Will creates a relaxed but captivating late-night atmosphere with a subtle jazzy touch.  There are innovative covers of many familiar songs, such as Stevie Wonder’s Too High and a restrained and sensual version of Gamble & Huff’s Turn off the Lights, with a sax solo by Gerald Albright.

  Will co-wrote the slow and atmospheric Heaven in Your Eyes, whereas Lush Life is a well-known “lounge” standard.  There’s a soothing Latin touch on Meu Bem Querer, and Hall & OatesShe’s Gone is the poppiest track on the set.  The beautiful If I Were a Magician was earlier recorded at least by Lou Rawls and the co-writer of the song, Billy Vera, and finally the jazziest cut on the CD, You Can Bring Me Flowers, was recorded also by its co-writer, an American folk singer by the name of Ray Lamontagne.  I thoroughly enjoyed this ‘elegant’ Euphoria by Mr. Downing.

© Heikki Suosalo

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