Vibe - 12/97-1/98, p.181
"...Downing paints a seductive picture of a romantic moment...tells you a sweet story about lost love...and reveals his 'secret' desires..."
Personnel includes: Will Downing, Tanya Smith, Audrey Wheeler (vocals); Jonathan Butler, Ira Siegel (acoustic guitar); Norman Brown (electric guitar); Michael Thompson, Chiele Minnucci, Binky Brice, Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitar); Gerald Albright (saxophone, bass); Kirk Whalum, Art Porter (saxophone); Ronnie Foster (piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards, synthesizer, background vocals); Rex Rideout (Fender Rhodes, keyboards, programming); Daryl Simmons (keyboards, percussion, drum programming); Mack 96 (keyboards, programming); Peter Lord (keyboards); Dave Carpenter (acoustic bass); Ronnie Garrett (bass, background vocals); Jerry Brooks, David Metcen, James Genus, Marcus Miller (bass); Will Kennedy, Harvey Mason (drums); Luis Conte (percussion); Yellowjackets.
Producers: Ronnie Foster, Darryl Simmons, Will Downing, Rex Rideout, Ronnie Garrett, The Family Stand.
Engineers include: Woody Woodruff, Ronnie Foster, Thom "TK" Kidd, Will Downing, Rich Travali.
Includes liner notes by Will Downing.
Personnel: Will Downing (vocals, background vocals); Tanya Smith , Audrey Wheeler (vocals, background vocals); Chieli Minucci, Binky Bryce, Michael Thompson , Mike Campbell , Paul Jackson, Jr. , Rohn Lawrence (guitar); Ira Siegel, Jonathan Butler (acoustic guitar); Norman Brown (electric guitar); Gerald Albright, Art Porter (saxophone); Russell Ferrante (piano); Rex Rideout (Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, programming); MACK Ninety Six (keyboards, drums, drum programming); Daryl Simmons (keyboards, percussion, drum programming); Peter Lord (keyboards); Dave Carpenter (acoustic bass); Harvey Mason, Sr. , William Kennedy , Buddy Williams (drums); Daryl Garrett, Luis Conte, Sammy Figueroa, Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Maxayn Lewis, Cindy Mizelle, Fonzi Thornton, Dwight Thompson, Goodfellaz, James "D-Train" Williams , Katreese Barnes, Marva King, Antoinette Roberson, Ronnie Foster, Ronnie Garrett (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Don Murray ; Jon Gass; Alec Head; Peter Moshay; Thom "TK" Kidd.
Recording information: Bimmer Studios, Thousand Oaks, CA; Cherokee, l Ain Bou Kellal; Chung King, New York, NY; Silent Sound Recording Studios, Atlanta, GA.
Photographer: Carol Friedman.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Gerald Albright; Jonathan Butler; Kirk Whalum; Alex Bugnon; Norman Brown.
Arrangers: Rex Rideout; Ronnie Foster; Will Downing.
Invitation Only is another typically tasteful and accomplished set of smooth jazz and urban R&B from Will Downing, who has recorded with a diverse set of musicians -- including Gerald Albright, Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler and the Yellowjackets -- in support. The album is divided between standards, quiet storm R&B and new contemporary R&B. While there are still a few slow spots on the record where the style takes precedent over the material, Invitation Only once again confirms that Will Downing has such a rich, deep talent that he should be a much bigger star than he is. ~ Leo Stanley