JazzTimes - 7-8/02, p.123
"...Makes appealing stops with subtle, jazzier material that allows his vocals to stretch and soar..."
Personnel includes: Will Downing (vocals); Vinx (scat vocals); Lee Ritenour (guitar, keyboards); Blake English, Michael Thompson, Russell Malone (guitar); Hubert Laws (flute); Gerald Albright, Boney James (saxophone); Ray Brown (trumpet); John Beasley (piano); Kowan Paul (keyboards, bass, programming); Ronnie Foster, Rex Rideout (keyboards); Stefon Harris (vibraphone); Ronnie Garrett, Marcus Miller (bass); John "J.R." Robinson, Will Kennedy (drums); Paulinho Da Costa, Luis Conte (percussion); Lisa Vaughan, Phil Perry, Vesta Williams, Darcy Aldridge (background vocals).
Producers include: Will Downing, Lee Ritenour, Kashif, Sandy Stein, Rex Rideout.
Engineers include: Don Murray, Blake English, Michael Thompson.
Personnel: Will Downing (vocals, background vocals); Darcy Aldridge (vocals, background vocals); Marc Antoine (guitar, electric guitar); Kashif (guitar, keyboards, drums, background vocals); Lee Ritenour (guitar, keyboards); Tariqh Akoni, Michael Hart Thompson , Rohn Lawrence, Russell Malone, Kevin Chokan, Blake English (guitar); Yergenia Strenger, Jung Sun Yoo, Fiona Simon, Gary Levinson, Elizabeth Lim, Karen Marx, Sandra Park, Lisa Kim (strings); Hubert Laws (flute); Gerald Albright, Boney James (saxophone); Ray Brown (trumpet); John Beasley (piano, keyboards); Ronnie Foster (organ, keyboards); Jochem van der Saag (keyboards, talk box, drums, drum programming, percussion programming, sampler, background vocals); Kowan "Q" Paul (keyboards, drum programming); Sandy Stein, Rex Rideout (keyboards); Stefon Harris (vibraphone); James Genus (acoustic bass); John "J.R." Robinson , Gregory Hutchinson, Michael White , Will Kennedy (drums); Luis Conte, Paulinho Da Costa, Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Mika Lett, Phil Jackson, Ronnie Garrett, Vesta Williams, Vinx (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Don Murray ; Erik Zobler.
Recording information: Bimmer Music Studio; Blimmer Music Studio; Infusion Studio; Kampo Studio; Kar Studio; Sear Sound Studios, New York, NY; Shelter Island Studios; Staag St. Studio; Tyrell Studio; Will Down Sound.
Photographer: Marc Baptiste.
Arrangers: Jochem van der Saag; Lee Ritenour .
The fact that R&B crooner Will Downing's SENSUAL JOURNEY is delivered to us via a jazz label should be a clue that the singer, obviously no jazz artist, has a sophisticated, mature musical message to impart. Downing's style manages to sound completely contemporary without ever delving into the prefabricated, hip-hop-influenced style of so many other R&B ballad specialists. SENSUAL JOURNEY is a personal, intimate recording. There's no phalanx of producers and programmers at work here; instead Downing is appropriately accompanied by such smooth-jazz legends as Boney James and Lee Ritenour, and even straight-ahead jazz vibes master Stefon Harris. Downing's warm, liquid voice moves organically through these arrangements, with emotional communication clearly its first priority. That's what ultimately makes SENSUAL JOURNEY a success on its own terms.