Time for another presentation of a slick artist and a big personal favorite of mine, “The Prince of Sophisticated Soul”or the “Prince of Bedroom Soul” according to me. Bedroom Soul never heard of that type of soul you might think well don’t think it’s a real term more something i like to call a certain type of soul.
Short background, artist/singer Isaac Hayes claimed he was the like pioneer with this type of soul then Barry White it’s processor and Will Downing their inheritor.
A young Will on the front of his first album in 1988.
As already stated he´s called Will Downing and made his entrance to this world at November 29 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He went in the Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and some of his fellow scholars were the eventual record label executives Clive Davis, founder of Arista Records, and Kedar Massenburg who later would become president of Motown Records. Along with Massenburg he graduaded in 1981 and went on to the Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.
In the mid 80:s he went back to to New York City and worked on albums with such arists as Jennifer Holliday, Gerald Albright, Regina Belle, Kool & The Gang, Billy Ocean, Mica Paris. His first own solo album came in 1988 and contianed the hit “A Love Supreme”, a cover version of a classic John Coltrane piece which reached #4 on Billboard Hot 100. Now his career got started and he contiued to make albums througout the 90:s as well as the 00:s.
If i was to describe his voice i´d say it´s a rich barytone. Now it sounds like everything went straight up for Will, no setbacks at all. Well in 2006 he suffered from polymyosisis, a kind of muscle disease that makes it hard to swallow food for example and gives you pain in your muscles. Despite this he´s still able to walk and make records, last one came in 2014. Will is also spokesperson for the “American Strokes Association”.
Let´s talk some about his music, now this dude knows for sure how to make it slick and his voice is proably one of the most slick voices there is i think! His style is not so much uptempo or funky but more laid back and little softer yet very slick and very well produced.
He has worked a lot with long time buddy, saxman Gerald Albright and in the late 90:s they made an album together called “Pleasures of The Night”, more jazz than r&b. What that title might referr to i leave it up to you and your imagination…
When Barry White left this world i´d say that nowadays Will has picked up his mantle so to speak in order to make soft, slick, what i call, “bedroom soul…” Ok let me give all the guys, who still are single or not quite managed to make the girl/woman you´re dating your girlfriend an advice.
Invite the woman over to your place, make some nice food along with something nice to drink and have some Will Downing playing in background… I´ve learned that women love this voice even if they not usually aren´t so much into jazz/soul/r&b but Will always works. I can´t promise that you will “score” take it as you wish…lol! However i do believe chanses are really good that you actually will make it…with a little help from the man Will! If you succeed don’t forget to give him some well deserved cred 😉
The song i have choosed with Will is taken from the 2009 album called “Classique” , picture above. This song is a perfect example of what i´ve tried to describe how “bedroom soul” is and how Will has continued kind of in the same style as Barry White. The song is called “Let’s make it now”.
As always enjoy your listening!
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