The prolific soul-jazz guitarist U-NAM returns to the fray with a new collection that marks a new and exciting direction for the genial French born musician. You see, for his just released 11 tracker, he’s enlisted the support the renowned Lutz Krajenski Big Band, and the LP title says it all…. ‘U-Nam Goes Big Band’. Yep, this is an unashamed tribute to the great days of the big band and swing era.
The story behind the album begins in Estonia… where, a few years back, producer Mikk Targo began to compile a list of what was generally regarded as the best one hundred songs Estonia has ever produced. He whittled the list down to a manageable album-filling size and released the collection in 2016. However Targo wanted to bring the music to a wider audience, and, a big fan of U-Nam, he drafted in the guitarist to bring in newer, fresher, jazzier flavours and feelings to the work… the result is ‘U-Nam Goes Big Band’ where the sound is ever big and joyous with U-Nam revelling in the challenge fronting the band creates.
The album begins in proper swing style with the brash ‘Something Right’ and the jaunty ‘Blink An Eye’. Elsewhere there are delicious Latin flavours in ‘Each Day’s A Gift’ and ‘The One’. There are gentler moments too (‘Saaremaa’) and a couple of intriguing vocals. ‘The Dance Must Go On’ featuring Susanna Aleksandra is classic lounge jazz while ‘Each Day’s A Gift’ brings Steve Brookstein back from the cold!
So, yes quite a cocktail… Estonian music, a big, big band, a French soul-jazz guitarist and one time X Factor winner. However, it all works beautifully!
‘U-Nam Goes Big Band’ out now on Skytown Records