Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Brooklyn vocalist and composer Will Downing has hovered on the cusp of stardom since the late '80s, occasionally making some arresting album cuts but never the major hit or string of records he needed to establish himself. Downing sang in Arthur Baker's "Wally Jump Junior" group, and then employed Baker as his producer when he signed with Island. He did session work in the early and mid-'80s, singing on dates with Daryl Payne, Marc Sadane, Warp 9, and Jennifer Holiday. Downing's 1988 debut, Will Downing, included a revised version of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme." Downing recorded and produced a duet with British soul songstress Mica Paris in 1989, remaking "Where Is the Love." His second release, Come Together as One, was in more of an urban contemporary mode, but his third one took a jazz-oriented turn. Released in 1991, A Dream Fulfilled included an ambitious version of War's "The World Is a Ghetto." He has been a favorite of audiences in England, releasing Pleasures of the Night in 1998 and All the Man You Need two years later. Sensual Journey from 2002 found him recording for the GRP label. Emotions arrived in 2003 and was followed a year later by the holiday album Christmas, Love and You. Soul Symphony arrived in 2005. In late 2006, Downing was diagnosed with polymyositis -- a disorder causing weakness in joints and muscles. As a result, Downing recorded the majority of his vocals for 2008's After Tonight from a wheelchair. Buoyed by fan support, Downing continued to struggle against the disease and released the soulful Classique in 2009, followed by Lust, Love & Lies (An Audio Novel) on the Concord imprint in 2010.