U-Nam | Back From the 80's

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Urban/R&B: Soul Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Back From the 80's

by U-Nam

One of the most acclaimed Smooth Jazz / Jazz Album of 2007/2008 with the number 1 hit "Street Life" ( one full year on the US Billboard Top 10 in 2007/2008 ) including hits "Keep The faith" "Slowdown" "Turn your Love Around" and much more...
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Street Life
5:43 $0.99
2. Breezin' M.A
3:48 $0.99
3. Keep The Faith
5:24 $0.99
4. Slowdown
5:25 $0.99
5. Turn your Love Around
4:36 $0.99
6. Mister GB
4:58 $0.99
7. Just A Kiss & Goodbye
6:26 $0.99
8. From Overseas
4:28 $0.99
9. I Can't Help It
4:11 $0.99
10. Just Like Real Lovers Do
6:00 $0.99
11. Love Will Find A Way
5:34 $0.99
12. Where Is The Love ?
4:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
One of the most acclaimed Smooth Jazz / Jazz Album of 2007 / 2008 with the number 1 hit "Street Life" ( one full year on the US Billboard Top 10 in 2007/2008 )

Testimonials and Reviews :

An astonishing work 0f art,audiophile masterpiece.,
“The lack of reviews is very disturbing to me because this cd screams quality in every possible way.The guitar playing is first rate and is equal to George Benson in expertise.The production of this album is amazing due to highly top rated musicians and the recording quality is absolute audiophile standard...what more can you ask for...highly recommended.”
- Hudson G. Tannis”Dr Groove”
New York, USA

Where Did This Guy Come From ?
George Benson had better watch out, because U-Nam is definitely nipping at his heels to take over the King of Smooth Jazz Guitar throne. This CD is totally off the hook and I absolutely love it. U-Nam came out of nowhere and he has instantly become one of my favorite smooth jazz and R & B artists. If you decide to purchase "Back From The 80's", please be sure to purchase the import version that includes the bonus CD. The bonus CD is also excellent and definitely worth the extra 3 bucks. Don't cheat yourself out of a special treat by purchasing the version that does not have the bonus CD.
- Thomas M. Marsch
Washington DC, USA

What more can you say? U-Nam basically made a name for himself in Europe. Now his talent has make it's way to the states. This guy is great. This album will stay in steady rotation in your car, home, or ipod. The songs on this CD, give inspiration, and they almost have spiritual overtones. While Brian Culbertson and Steve Cole were the reigning kings of smooth jazz-funk. They have been toppled by this kid. I can play keep the faith all day and never get tired of it. My summer is now complete thanks to Unam and the 80's. So for all the smooth jazz-funk artist who like to make some great albums and all of a sudden experiment with some folk music, stay True to what has got you to the top.
-Michael Wilson
Chicago, USA

U-Nam The "Magnificant"
On Occassion ar artist comes along and brilliantly retouches another artist style and songs. To me this is what U-Nam has accomplished, another very funly but edgy version of "George Benson". Another non-clone in the Bensonesque genre is Norman Brown who has merged several styles of guitar "heroes" into his special part of mimicked deception. However U-Nam has given an outstanding tribute to Mr George Benson and being a guitarist myself, would have most similary "played" the same tribute. The battery of musicians that he has assemble is an arsenal of talent (Alex Al, Melvin Davis,DaCosta, M.White,Maysa Leak, Franck Sitbon,Jeff Lorber etc ,,, ) who by their own merit are worthly of invidual praise. Without them this project would have been "Stellar", but with them it is a "Supernova" !!! I'm sure we all look forward to his next project and the fiery prowess of his fingerboard gymnastics. Sincere Thanks U-Nam, for keeping great guitar and timeless melodies alive ...
- Aranos, USA

This CD is AWESOME !!!
If you love Jazz You will love that CD........It’s the best I have in my collection. Can’t wait for next CD. It will surprise you. I play it every morning since I bought it it just to
get my morning started.........Get me pumped up to work.......Love it and keep up the good work U-Nam.....
UNEEDA1 on Blackplanet.com
Charlotte, USA

Best Jazz Cd I ever bought,
U-Nam Music style is amazing. Excellent from beginning to end!! Great job U-nam!!!!!You got a fan on me.
Arnaldo A. Montes
Orlando, USA

Feel good album.
U-Nam is the pen name of a brlliant, young, talented French guitarist, the new rising star in the Smooth Jazz field, Parisian born and based Emmanuel Abiteboul at his sophomore effort.
If you like Benson-ish guitar players over smooth grooves then U-Nam hits the bill.
Quality instrumentals like "Mister GB", "Breezin Ma" and "Slowdown" ooze a feel good factor.
The Crusaders' "Street Life" and George Benson's "Turn Your Love Around" receive refreshing contemporary covers.
On "From Overseas", Maysa adds her trademark scat vocal.
The album shows an impressive line-up of world-renowned musicians : Jeff Lorber , Paulinho DaCosta, Michael White, Alex Al, Andy Narell, Maysa, Steve Harvey, Melvin Davis and a bunch of excellent French musicians as well and is inspired by the music and musicians that U-Nam was listening to when he was a kid back in the early 80s.
The CD 2 is an 80's Soul set featuring 2 standouts "Love's taking Over" with Rahsaan Patterson and "Right Here Right Now" with Phil Perry.
I am loving it. You will like it. Enjoy !
Line Of Beauty and Jazz
Miami, USA

This is awesome listening. I really enjoy listening to this work of art. This is my first recording of U-nam and I am very impressed. If you love jazz guitar this will definately rock your world.
- William A. Coes Jr. "BARGIN HUNTER"
Gary, USA

Street Life set the tone for the whole CD. Up tempo, mid tempo as smooth as the meringue on a lemon meringue pie. I can see why a lot of the songs were played on smooth jazz stations. U-Nam, what can you do for an encore. A must buy for any smooth jazz listener.
- D. Ramseur "el pato"
Gastonia, USA

Yep, it is smooth.,
There's no doubt about it. In fact U-Nam out-Benson's Benson throughout, particularly on George's own Turn Your Love Around. Uh, no he's not singing, his guitar is though. So yeah, do yourself a favor and pick this up, put it on, and let it play.
- BuzzDavis

A very good thing,
In "Back From The 80's", U-Nam continues a very good thing...and this time, he more directly addresses and celebrates the George Benson influence on his music, with a new twist on Benson's 80's hit "Turn Your Love Around", and U-Nam's own "Mister GB". And again,U-Nam produces another winner by involving the best jazz talent on the planet, including Maysa Leak, Paulinho DaCosta, Melvin Lee Davis, and Andy Narell, to name a few, plus a return visit from Jeff Lorber, who masterfully provides the keyboard solo in the remake of the Crusaders late 70's "Street Life" ( climbing the SmoothJazz Top 20 at the time of this writing ). There is plenty of additional "radio-ready" material to be found, "Love Will Find The Way" and excellent example. All cuts are terrific...Turn it up and enjoy !!!
- Mark Sanley, USA


I'm always fascinated with the difference between musical competence and the kind of musicianship that creates monster hits. I think what it comes down to is a combination of strong, compelling compositions, a brilliant support team, and perhaps most importantly, a positive vibe that's a perfect match for the times. Enter native Parisian U-Nam (Real name - Emmanuel Abiteboul - "Manu" for short -- Note the reversal for his stage name U-Nam) and his new album BACK FROM THE 80's. It's got all the ingredients, and it's gonna be a smash. It's really the quintessential Smooth Jazz guitar album for today, with all the ingredients I just mentioned locked solidly in place. U-Nam's main musical influence is George Benson, which will be immediately apparent when you hear his playing. George himself has got to be impressed! I certainly am. This is an awesome collection of tunes, from the first hit single (a killer remake of the Crusader's classic "Street Life," featuring Jeff Lorber on Fender Rhodes) to an absolutely stunning instrumental version of the Benson hit "Turn Your Love Around." Actually there's not a single track on this disc that doesn't deserve airplay. This is a totally fresh, energetic tour de force into some 80's nostalgia and tasty originals... all with a very hip musical patina. U-Nam calls his music "Classy, Jazzy, Funky, Frenchy." I call it essential for this format right now. If you're a Smooth Jazz programmer and you're not playing something from BACK FROM THE 80's on your station, then your programmer's license should be revoked! ~SCOTT O'BRIEN~ SmoothJazz.com

U-Nam, the stage name of twentysomething French guitarist and producer Emmanuel Abiteboul, defined disparity on his debut The Past Builds the Future with instrumentals, soul songs, downtempo, funk, rock and jazz jockeying for space. He seems determined to crack the U.S. smooth-jazz market on his second CD, however, and with any luck he’ll succeed. True to its title, the CD offers fresh versions of classic and lesser-known gems from the 1980s. But even more remarkable are the new, thoroughly modern tunes inspired by his favorite songs from the big-hair decade.
George Benson is the obvious influence here, and U-Nam’s soulful, electrified version of Benson’s vocal tune “Turn Your Love Around” is too cool. Elsewhere on the CD, Benson’s original lines and U-Nam’s new material coalesce into something of a new style: hybrid cover. Examples: “Keep the Faith” opens with an improvisation from one of Benson’s greatest hits, “Affirmation,” before setting into a relaxed and wholly original groove punctuated by a snappy horn section. And an instantly recognizable Benson riff from “Give Me the Night” pops up at the end of “Slowdown,” while “Mister GB” opens with a string section playing “Breezin’ ” before easing into new material.
Elsewhere, the mix-and-matching continues on Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “Where Is the Love,” which channels Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” and Jeff Lorber’s tasty Rhodes solo adds spice to the Crusaders’ “Street Life.” U-Nam also covers Stevie Wonder’s “I Can’t Help It” with a talkbox hook and brings a disco bounce to an obscure Lionel Richie tune titled “Love Will Find a Way.”
Original tunes include the personal “Just a Kiss & Goodbye,” a sentimental ballad; “Just Like Real Lovers Do,” which features U-Nam’s trademark cascading guitar riffs, some wah-wah guitar riffs and a romantic sensibility a la Marvin Gaye; and “From Overseas” with steel pan legend Andy Narell and Maysa Leak’s scatting in time with U-Nam’s guitar. ~Brian Soergel~ JazzTimes Magazine April 2007

Back From The 80’s is “That’s Wassup,” a popular hip-hop culture phrase used to describe when something is at it’s best. A new star on the rise, to say the least, U-Nam, (Emmanuel Abiteboul), a tremendously talented jazz guitarist in the vein of… let’s say, George Benson, Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny. Make no mistake about it; U-Nam is no carbon copy. He is definitely the boss of his guitar. Back From The 80’s features a fresh take on 80’s hits, filled with funky memorable hooks and irresistible melodies with a head-bobbin’ groove that exposes U-Nam’s virtuoso guitar skills and keen composition chops. Highlights include, Mr. GB, Just A Kiss And Goodbye, From Overseas and Love Will Find Away.~AbyssJazz Magazine~ October 2007

Because this vibrant, super funky Parisian born and based guitarist (real name, Emmanuel Abiteboul) was born in 1970, it's likely he didn't hear some of the classic songs he's covering here -- and drawing inspiration from for the exciting originals -- until the next decade. But from the big horn opening, the disco-fied thump and old-school atmospheres of the first single and leadoff track, a cover of the Crusaders' "Street Life," it's clear that he's all about a '70s retro-soul groove. To that effect, he brings in the master of that vibe, Jeff Lorber, to add his sparkling Rhodes to the track that begins the disc's overall time travel seduction. When he's not giving direct shout-outs to his pop and jazz inspirations via cool and lively covers of classics by Lionel Richie (OK, "Love Will Find a Way" is from 1983), George Benson ("Turn Your Love Around"), and Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway ("Where Is the Love?," which begins in a Stevie Wonder funk mode before easing into a crisp, midtempo vibe), U-Nam is creating joyful and breezy originals that pay homage to his guitar heroes Benson and Wes Montgomery. "Breezin' M.A," which borrows its title from Benson's breakthrough mid-'70s, instrumental hit, is a pure instrumental disco delight, its dance-pop mindset enhanced by U-Nam's effortless, speedy improvisations. Memorable original tracks like "Keep the Faith," "Slowdown," and the lushly orchestrated "Mister GB" are also guitar-driven, but remind listeners of the old days with clicking rhythm guitars and the Rhodes and B-3 magic of the guitarist's writing partner Franck Sitbon. In addition to ensembling with some of his fellow countrymen and a unit called the Paris Horns, U-Nam also works with some of L.A.'s top session guys, including percussionist Paulinho Da Costa and drummer Michael White. Soul singer Maysa Leak's wordless vocalizing and Andy Narell's always welcome steel pan touches add some exotica to another winning, heavily brassy track, "From Overseas." Smooth jazz fans who can't wait for the next Chris Standring or Norman Brown discs would be the first folks who would love this original guitarist with an even more unique name. ~ Jonathan Widran, Rovi All Music Guide



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