U-Nam
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U-Nam

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
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"Live @ Anthology / Live DVD 2010"

Paris born guitarist Emmanuel Abiteboul, better known as U-Nam, started his career with the debut album The Past Builds the Future on the Trippin’N’Rhythm record label in 2005. In 2007 his sophomore album Back From the 80's received rave reviews by many Internet websites. With his third album Unanimity (2009) he built up his popularity.

This year U-Nam shined as one of the most in-demand guitarists on several concerts and festivals. The new DVD Live @ Anthology captures a live concert on March 24, 2010 at the well known location in San Diego, CA.

Anthology has become one of San Diego’s premier upscale dining rooms. On stage, Anthology plays host to renowned local and international musicians in Jazz, Classic Rock, Blues, Latin and World music.

The DVD surprises with an overwhelming title-art, intro and menu presenting a helicopter fly over skyscrapers, which display different oversized views of U-Nam. U-Nam’s band include drummer Tony Moore, bassist Darryl Williams, keyboardist Kim Hanson, saxophonist and flutist Shannon Kennedy.

First track on the DVD is Funk-4-U-Nity with a fantastic introduction by Kim Hansen on keyboards in George Duke's style. Then the maestro himself enters the stage performing on his Ibanez AF125 under great applause of the audience. Although U-Nam prefers an edgier interpretation his guitar play still reminds of George Benson, which is obviously intended.

On Before I Leave U-Nam presents his guitar mastery in full extension. While Shannon Kennedy on flute underlines the main theme in lovely tones, U-Nam unfolds his skills in an explosive solo.

The romantic ballade Just A Kiss & Goodbye from U-Nam's second album finds an excellent reprise onstage. Marvin Gaye denounced in his song Inner City Blues the enforced poverty and brutality so many Americans must endure in one of the richest countries of the world. U-Nam becomes lost in an extreme solo, before he finds back with the support of Shannon on sax.

The live performance of Franck Sitbon's Keep The Faith from U-Nam's album Back From the 80's showcases the difference to the original recording. U-Nam uses the theme anew for an all-embracing solo. My Heart & Soul reveals the beauty of U-NAM's guitar like an opening flower. Melodious in general U-Nam keeps the promise that this tune would be a little jazzier than the previous songs. Improvisation was the principal topic of this concert.

U-Nam's killer remake of Street Life closes this remarkable evening. Especially this Crusader song made U-Nam so popular in the States, that many see him today's as the legitimate heir of George Benson's throne.

The DVD also contains as bonus a gallery of U-Nam photos provided with his music, his biography and as live jam recorded at NAMM a rendition of George Benson's Before You Go. Furthermore the DVD offers MP3/AAC studio versions of the performed songs, a digital copy of the DVD artwork, sound files of U-Nam's concert at the Gaslamp festival and an exclusive, previously unreleased version of the new single, Act Like You Know (featuring Tim TiO Owens).

Fans of U-Nam watch out for this new DVD featuring the guitarist's live performance. U-Nam will support his new production with numerous live concerts.

- Smooth-Jazz.de


"The Past Builds The Future Album 2005"

U-Nam is a veteran session guitarist in France who has signed a deal with Trippin 'n' Rhythm, the U.K.-based smooth-jazz label featuring Paul Hardcastle, Gregg Karukas and others. But while there are a few nods to the genre, The Past Builds the Future is more in tune with today's nu-soul records than with smooth jazz.

U-Nam may play the guitar, but this is anything but a guitar record. Soul is the key here, as he recruited such crooners as Rahsaan Patterson and Phil Perry to inject their old-school cool into the mix on "Love's Taken Over" and "Right Here, Right Now," respectively. Also contributing vocals are Stevie Wonder sound-alike Nyr--who also channels George Benson's vocalese on the frantic "French Flavor"--and Leedia, whose throaty soul stylings brighten the song "Blue Mood."

Keyboardist Jeff Lorber is featured on several tracks, as is saxophonist Gary Meek. The many collaborations and sounds on The Past Builds the Future--from smooth jazz, old-school, nu-soul, R&B and funk--make it a robust and satisfying work.
- Jazz Times


"Back From The 80's Album 2007"

By Brian Soergel

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. - Jazz Times


"UNANIMITY Album 2009"

Hailing from Paris U-NAM aka Emmanuel Abiteboul recently moved to USA, where he is performing with the cream of contemporary jazz. Working for artists such as Barry White, Honeyz, Luis Fonsi, Alsou, Kool & the Gang, Billy Paul, Cindy Daniel and CNote motivated him to release after his debut The Past Builds The Future (2005) his sophomore solo album Back From The 80's (2007). This album received high acclaims because of its originality, freshness and rich proficiency. This album was one of the best smooth jazz albums I heard since several years. Without exception strong songs, no filler.

Will U-NAM continue his previous success with his follow-up Unanimity (2009)? This question can be answered with a clear and astounding YES. The title of the new album is explained by U-NAM with his move to L.A. leaving his family especially his four years old son Melvin behind. The concept of "Humanity" should be able to do the "Unanimity". The album was recorded in parts in his studio in France and in his new studio in Rancho Cucamonga called Studio II. As on his previous album U-Nam is supported by the Merkevah Orchestra and the M.A. strings section conducted by Raymond Gimenes, furthermore by the Paris horns (Thierry Farrugia, Christian Martinez and Bernard Camoin). Further musicians on his new album are Denis Bennarosh (percussion), Mike White (drums), Franck Sitbon (clavinet, Fender Rhodes, acoustic piano, organ and background vocals) and some special guest musicians.

U-Nam surprises with his unusual introduction Viva La Revolucion. A movie score of the Mexican revolution with the blowing trumpet, revolting people and the whole body of sound of this ancient period. When you search after the contemporary funk, your quest is over. Funk-4-U-Nity has it all. U-NAM's dynamic guitar performance takes the audience by storm.

Shine On is a tune based on U-NAM programmatic concept Back from the '80's. Strings, wah-guitar, piano and horn-section and U-NAM's out breaking guitar play push you right into the Philadelphia or Motown area. The song was originally recorded by George Duke in 1982 surpassing the sound of Brothers Johnson, Heatwave or Earth, Wind & Fire. This style is continued on Unanimity. Impressions of the past are encompassed in a huge and incredible mélange of various sound patterns.

After this breathtaking travel through the past offers The Day I Met U a slow ballade constituted in the smooth jazz genre. Greetings to George Benson. A good tune for a ride along the west coast in your favorite roadster. The uplifting Soul Boy Reincarnation is featuring the great Najee on flute and alto sax. Numerous sound gimmicks keep the tune running. The ragtime on the end was arranged and played by Frank Sitbon.

(Hang On) U- Is Comin' sucks the spirit of the old tune Hold On, I'm Comin', from the 1966 debut album by Atlantic Records soul duo Sam and Dave, issued on the Atlantic-distributed Stax label. Things really happen. U-NAM lets the turn table burn. 4 Ever Urs is dedicated to U-NAM's sun Melvin. His guitar shows an own life with some liberation from the background sound.

Sometimes music is like a rose (la vie en rose). My Heart & Soul reveals the beauty of U-NAM's guitar like an opening flower. You smell the notes and enjoy the colors. Life can be so awesome.

U-NAM's addiction for the past music finds its next expression in Dancing In The Street. The song was first recorded by Martha and the Vandellas in 1964. U-NAM overdubs his guitar on Martha Reeves' newly recorded vocals bringing the past to contemporary. The slow ballade Losing My Mind has much of Stevie Wonder's style and a lot of European music culture. I love this interaction between horns and guitar. Please More!

On a stomping Motown beat U-NAM defines U Could Make It Happen. But be aware no melody is quick enough for U-NAM's escapades. Every tune is a guitar solo. So the last tune Soul...ism is a fast paced song on which U-NAM bleeds his guitar like a stuck pig. Who holds the world record in quickest funk?

Unanimity is the ultimative candidate for the highest amount of good guitar melodies on one album. Test it!

- Smooth-Jazz.de


"UNANIMITY Album 2009"

By JEFF WINBUSH
Published: June 3, 2009











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Track Listing: Viva La Revolucion (Un Jour Nouveau); Funk-4-U-Nity; Shine On; Unanimity; This Is Just 4 U; The Day I Met U; Soul Boy Reincarnation; (Hang On) U-Is Comin'; 4 Ever Urs; My Heart & Soul; Dancing In the Street; Losing My Mind; U Could Make It Happen; Soul...ism.

Personnel: U-Nam: guitars, bass, synth bass, keyboards, programming and editing; Franck Sitson: fender rhodes, clavinet, acoustic piano, organ and background vocals; Denis Bennarosh: percussion; Mike White: drums; The M.A. Strings Orchestra: Raymond Gimenes: conductor; Herve Cavelier, David Naulin, Laurence Dupuis: 1st violins; Cecile Bourcier, Daniel Dato: 2nd violins; Marie-Aude Guyon, Vicky Labesque: alti; Vincent Catulescu: cello; The Paris Horns: Thierry Farrugia: tenor, alto and baritone saxophones; Christian Martinez: trumpet; Bernard Camoin: trombone; Matt Rohde: fender rhodes (5); Najee: flute and alto saxophone (7); Marva King: lead and background vocals (11).

Style: Funk/Groove
U-Nam (aka Emmanuel Abitebol) may be taking this "u" thing a bit far, but his jazz-funk guitar stylings are so pleasing to the ears, that his little eccentricities can be forgiven.
Upon first listen, the disc sounds as though George Benson decided to make a funk record. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but U-Nam is an innovator, not an imitator.

Unanimity sounds, perhaps, how Benson might have had—after virtually creating the smooth jazz genre singlehandedly—he decided to go to Paris, immerse himself in some old school '60s Motown, Stax and Atlantic soul music, and then record an album with the results. U-Nam isn't just a particularly attentive student of the Benson approach to guitar stylings; he also brings his own ideas to the party.

Backed by both horn and string sections, U-Nam likes to get down and get funky, as he demonstrates both an appreciation for a good groove and not taking himself too seriously. "(Hang On) U-Is Comin'" isn't exactly Sam & Dave's "Hold I'm Coming" but it's certainly inspired by it. U-Nam's a pretty good bassist too, as he shows on his cover of George Duke's "Shine On."

The title track stomps all over the joint, with U-Nam riffing madly all over the strings and horns. Marva King adds energetic vocals to an effective rendition of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' hit, "Dancing In the Street."

U-Nam left Paris to travel to Los Angeles and make his name there, but it wasn't an easy choice as he had to leave his family and friends behind. He pours the emotions of separation and longing into his music. "My Heart and Soul" is dedicated to his four year-old son. The chilled out pace of this track and "This Is Just 4 U" provide a little quiet time to stretch out and simply listen.

But Unanimity is a party record first and foremost. The only serious criticism is it's a bit long, clocking in at over 75 minutes. Some judicious edits might have tightened up some tracks that go on a minute or two longer than necessary.

Aside from not knowing when he's got too much of a good thing going, U-Nam promises to be an import that, as time goes by, will provide some real competition for domestic guitar-slingers.
- All That Jazz


"UNANIMITY Album 2009"

Nimble with the strings, varied in his influences and dynamic in his delivery, it has barely taken two CD's for jazz guitarist Emmanuel Abiteboul, better known as U-Nam, to establish himself as one of today's most exciting artists, producers and musicians. Elastic in his approach and eager to incorporate differing musical styles into his tracks (pop, funk and soul), U-Nam, as expected, follows up 2007's Back From the 80's with---what else?--- another delicious fusion of funk, pop, and contemporary soul.

Some of Unanimity's 14 tracks may remind some listeners of his inescapable George Benson influence (transposing animated, plucky guitar runs over sultry grooves), but U-Nam brings fresh verve to the mix on tracks like the sparkling slow-mo feel of "The Day I Met U," the irresistibly brassy, Sam and Dave-recalling "(Hang On) U-Is Coming " and the joyous, sun-lit title track, threaded with an impetuously funky bass line and peppered with a chorus that brings to mind the spiritual soul of an Early Earth, Wind and Fire. "My Heart & Soul" has murky, bluesy undertones, "4 Ever Urs" finds U-Nam making the guitar emote like any soul master's vocals could, and the tempest he creates with the melodic "U Could Make It Happen" is a tender, tantalizing one.

And, as if one multi-faceted musician wasn't enough, U-Nam generously shares his spotlight with others, including Franck Sitbon (acoustic piano, background vocals), Denis Bennarosh (percussion), horn players Thierry Farrugia, Christian Martinez and Bernard Camoin as well as soul stylist Marva King (on an exuberant remake of "Dancing In The Street") and jazz masters George Duke and Najee: the lead single and Mr. Duke's contribution, " Shine On," is a perfect percussive track to kick off an easy weekend, and Najee, who co-wrote the breezy "Soul Boy Reincarnation," contributed sax and flute to the jam as well.

From polished straightforward jazz to bursts of raucous R&B, Unanimity has it all: fans justifiably enamored with his first two CD's won't be disappointed, and for those who've unschooled on his prowess, U-Nam is an awe-inspiring original (all of this breadth and talent, and the man isn't even 40 yet!) and, thanks to this third-time charmer, is responsible for one of 2009's most enjoyable releases yet. For the jazz novice as well as for its aficionados, pop it in the changer, press play, relish and repeat.

By Melody Charles



Read more: U-Nam | Review - Unanimity (2009) | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews - soultracks.com


Discography

as a solo artist :

Live @ Anthology ( 2010 ) DVD - U-Nam Productions
( Includes New Single "Act Like You Know" ) Top 10 in UK , France , Hungary and more...

UNANIMITY ( 2009 ) ( Trippin'N'Rhythm / SONY ) Contemporary JazzUS Billboard Top 30

Back From The 80's ( 2007 ) ( Trippin'N'Rhythm / SONY ) Contemporary Jazz US Billboard Number 1

The Past Builds The Future ( 2005 ) ( Trippin'N'Rhythm / SONY ) Contemporary Jazz US Billboard Top 47

The Early Tapes 94/94 ( 1995 ) U-Nam Productions

Compilations as a solo artist :

Jazz Gold #2 ( 2010 ) Jazzy FM Hungary
The Very Best Of Christmas ( Trippin’N’Rhythm / Sony 2009 )
Delicious Groove ( Trippin’N’Rhythm / Sony 2008 )
The Soul Of Smooth Jazz ( Jazz FM UK 2008 )
Jazzy Gold ( Jazzy FM Hungary 2008 )
In The Groove ( SoulVibe Recordings UK 2007 )
Urban Essentials ( BMFN Records Japan 2006 )
Cafe De Soul Vol.5 ( Cafe De Soul UK 2005 )

Collaborations, Guest Appearance, Remixes, Producing etc...( Selective Discography...) :

Elias Jr ( 2010 ) Jazzy FM Hungary
Jaared “ Manhattan Nights” ( Trippin’N’Rhythm / Sony 2010 )
Art Sherrod Jr. “Seasons” ( Pacific Coast Jazz 2009 )
James Day “Natural Things” ( Expansion UK 2009 )
Vernon Neilly & Friends “A Tribute To Stevie Wonder
( BooSweet Records 2008 )
Soul Lounge 2 ( Dome Records UK 2008 )
Cindy Daniel “J’avoue”( MP3 Disques / Select Canada 2006 )
Gold Album ....
NYR ( BFMN Records Japan 2006 )
Star Academy 4 ( Mercury / Universal France 2004 )
Houcine “Donne Moi Du Temps” ( Mercury / Universal France 2004 )
Houcine “Ce Que Tu Veux De Moi” ( Mercury / Universal France 2003 )
Donia “A Quoi Tu Joues” ( M6 Int. / Sony France 2002 )
Organiz’ “No Way Out” ( M6 Int. / Sony France 2001 )
Organiz’ “Preview” ( M6 Int. / Sony France 2000 )
Gold Album & Platinum Single
Poetic Lovers’ “Conquete”( M6 Int. / Sony France 2000 )
Ophelie Winter “Je t’abandonne”( Eastwest / Warner France 1999 )
Organiz’ “I Never Knew Love Like This Before”
( M6 Int. / Sony France 1999 )

Barry White “Ultimate Collection”
( Mercury / Universal France 1999 ) DIAMOND ALBUM

Samsha “La Isla Bonita”
( M6 Int. / Sony France 1999 )

Ophelie Winter “Elle Pleure”
( Eastwest / Warner France 1998 )

Honeyz’ “Finally Found”
( Mercury / Universal UK & Japan 1998 ) PLATINUM ALBUM

Photos

Bio

International Recording Artist & Chart Topper Soul/Jazz Guitarist U-Nam
(best known for his #1 hit “Street Life"

New project 2011
U-Nam reveals a “George Benson Tribute Album" with Special Guests.

For Immediate Release
U-Nam launches his
George Benson
Tribute project with
‘Give Me the Night’
feat. Tim TiO Owens
The first single from
‘Weekend in L.A.’ U-
Nam & Friends released
Los Angeles, CA - May 23,
2011 – ‘Give Me the Night’
featuring Tim ‘TiO Owens’ is the
first single from U-Nam’s highly
anticipated album, ‘Weekend in
LA’. Produced by U-Nam, neo-soul, R&B, and jazz influenced ‘Give Me the Night’
(written by the composer of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Rod Temperton) reveals a
taste of what’s to come with the new album featuring the talented vocals of TiO in a
rich and contemporary arrangement of the GB classic, accompanied the trademark
styling of U-Nam’s guitar. The new single is now available on iTunes and most
online distributors such as Rhapsody, Amazon, and CDBaby.
For the 1st Time, a Tribute to the Living Jazz and R&B Legend: George
Benson
Highly acclaimed French guitarist U-Nam (#1 Hit on the Billboard Charts in 2007)
has taken on the ambitious project of creating a George Benson Tribute,
acknowledged as no small task by those familiar with the Legend’s music. But
according to GB himself, U-Nam is surely qualified for this undertaking. "The man
known as U-Nam, is destined to become one of the most controversial musicians. It’s
great to have a new voice on the guitar scene; one that is loaded with energy and
Page 2 U-Nam Releases New Single ‘Give Me the Night’
excitement."—-Ten time Grammy Award recipient, NAE Jazz Master and guitar
legend—- George Benson
The song features vocalist Tim Owens, also known as TiO, an international talent
known for his work with K-Ci and JoJo (1997-2003) and with the popular LA group,
The Polyester Players, and TiO’s performance is only a small sample of the talent to
be showcased on this album. The album includes a MEGA-ALLSTAR line up of
artists and musicians including but not limited to George Duke, Phil Perry, Ronnie
Foster (the original keyboardist on George Benson’s ‘Weekend in L.A.’ and
‘Breezin’ albums), Patrice Rushen, Tim Owens, Mike White, Matt Rohde, Bireli
Lagrene,Jeff Lacey, Franck Sitbon, Denis Benarrosh, Darryl Williams, Andreas
Oberg, and many more artists will be revealed later—there are many surprises to be
expected!
In many ways, this album has been groundbreaking – in the era of ‘indie artists,’
those like U-Nam have found exciting ways to create music independent of record
labels and with more involvement with their audience. Through PledgeMusic, U-
Nam offered fans the opportunity to become involved with the project by ‘pre-
ordering’ the album and other exciting incentives while providing participants with
exclusive updates and information regarding the artist and the project. There are still
several days left to be a part of this project and to ‘preorder’ the album, visit:
www.pledgemusic.com/projects/unam#project.
The full album is due out Fall 2011 and will highlight inventive and imaginative
new versions of popular George Benson hits. With its release, U-Nam will launch a
tour of the album throughout the US and more as further dates materialize.
Over the next few months, U-Nam will be releasing singles from the album until
the completion of the project. Look for ‘Give Me the Night’ and a soon to be released
EP with remixes of the song on iTunes, CDBaby and more.
As said and recorded by Jeff Lacey, “GB’s the King, U-Nam’s the Prince."

www.atributetogeorgebenson.com

Born and raised in Paris / France, U-Nam began playing the guitar at age 12, and studied for three
years at the Paris-based CIM – the ?rst European school for jazz – between 1986 and 1989. At age 19
he turned professional, becoming a ?xture at Paris studio sessions. 
Well known throughout Europe and the US as a musical trendsetter and innovative player in
Instrumental Music, Soul, and R&B, Emmanuel “U-Nam” Abiteboul has more than earned his
reputation as a virtuosic guitarist and producer.  Since his move to the US from Paris, France in 2007,
Guitarist U-Nam has had the opportunity to perform, record and produce several of the top artists in
the Smooth Jazz, R&B, and Soul genres.  He has traveled throughout the US at events and Festivals
including the Catalina JazzTrax Festival, Jazz on the Green, the JazzTrax Big Bear Festival, the Dave
Koz and Friends Cruise et al. His performances extend outside of the US, he will be performing in
February 2010 at the Dubai Jazz Festival.
Originally a renowned producer, U-Nam has worked with a number of International Artists including
Barry White, Kool & the Gang, Honeyz, Louis Fonsi, and MC-Solaar, earning him several Gold and
Multi-Platinum records. In 2007, he established himself as