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  • Jonathan Widran

WILL DONATO, "The Goddess"

With some contemporary urban jazz artists, all it takes is that one breakout smash to take their solo career to a whole new level. For multi-talented composer, saxophonist and flutist Will Donato, that track was “Infinite Soul,” the first lead single from his 2020 solo album ELEVATE.

Some 15 years after his debut album Will Power, and countless performances with the likes of Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire, Richard Elliot, Steve Oliver and a host of other pop icons, he had a #1 Billboard smash – and perhaps most impressively considering how we measure popularity these days, currently over three million streams on Spotify. His sensual and heartfelt, ultra-infectious, horn-fired latest track “The Goddess” - the lead single from Donato’s upcoming album Legacy – has a more laid back vibe than “Infinite Soul,” but still has one important thing in common with it.

The earlier song was inspired by Donato’s hero father Joseph, a retired military man and the saxophonist’s wife Diana, and the latter IS also “The Goddess” whose love influences every passionate note of this (and probably every other!) tune he writes. (Her lovely image is on the cover of the single as well). Aside from the sweet, soulful melody and seductive hook, one of the most impactful aspects of the song is the way Donato textures his robust tenor energy with his dreamy flute playing, creating a fascinating dark/light contrast both when they are played together (sometimes with the stacked horns) or when the flute harmonies flutter off the sax lines.

Another important note – Donato has spent much of his career supporting the music of others with his powerful soloing, so it’s great to see the favor returned so dynamically via dazzling solos here by keyboardist Greg Manning. The track also features Steve Oliver playful guitar touches.

Listen to "The Goddess" here:

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