Contemporary Jazz

True Lies


Faithful Will Downing fans excitedly and enthusiastically welcome each outing from the Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter, whose career spans 15 albums and 22 years. For his latest release, Downing chose to create what he calls an "audio novel," Lust, Love & Lies.

The potent songs strung together through a series of monologues trace a relationship from its very genesis. In Downing's own words: "The first time that you meet someone, there's a physical attraction -- you're looking at them and there is a lust factor, I'd like to get to know them... Then hopefully, that grows into a like/love situation. And in this case -- just in this case -- there was something that happened along the way in the relationship which was considered a lie."

The incredibly compelling storyline features the song stylist's stock-in-trade. A soulful cover of Billy Vera's 1986 chart topper "At This Moment" appears with original Downing compositions that include the groove-flavored "Glad I Met You Tonight," the pensive acoustic "Coulda Been/Shoulda Been," the sexy "Shades" and a classic Downing slow jam called "Saturday."

Big ups to Downing for creating an ambitious musical project with a solid concept at a time when most of his contemporaries play it safe. Do yourself a favor, check out Lust, Love & Lies from start to finish, monologues and all, tracing an age-old story of love gained and love lost that is all too familiar. He's on tour, so you should also catch him live if you can.

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