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C'est Le Funk

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 15, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Review

French guitarist/producer U-Nam is again standing tall and looming large on the smooth jazz scene with another creative gem called C est Le Funk. In addition to dazzling us with his graceful and funky instrumental work (and one funky delivery with vocals from Tim TiO Owens), the album is loaded with strong production and presence. Wasting no time putting the groove into high gear from the start, the guitarist leads off with a driving track called Smoovin , continues plowing ahead with the party groover Something s Up and strutting right through the super-funky, hook-rich title track which features Nivo Deux (Nivo Deux is actually a project organized by U-Nam and wife Shannon Kennedy focusing on the incorporation of 80 s Pop, Smooth Jazz, and Electro-Funk). At this point, we are now up and climbing through the clouds as U-Nam fires on all cylinders and takes us out into the stratosphere with his assortment of grab ya vibes. His handling of Maze s Can t Get Over You, an R&Bish mid-tempo charmer that s loaded with soul and a bit of sass, is simply masterful, as is his cover of Keni Burke s bottom-heavy slick and funky Risin To The Top (a sensation U-Nam should have personally become familiar with a long while ago, if you ask me). As mentioned above, the one vocal track offered, a great cover of Fat Larry s Band s Act Like You Know, is mightily delivered with TiO Owens exercising his pipes to full effect. Employing such effects as strings on select tracks here, U-Nam remains committed to pulling out all stops in bringing you the best he has to offer and, needless to say, that s a lot. With his never miss style of funk and style, he guides us through a kaleidoscope of sound, employing Benson-like runs and flavorful phrasings. We often say that this artist or that one is like no other, and U-Nam clearly demonstrates with each release that his name should always be among those stand-outs. With that in mind, you ll find C est Le Funk to be as much a stand-out. Ronald Jackson --SmoothJazzRide.com

Originally from Paris guitarist U-NAM delivers one gem after another. With The Past Builds The Future (2005), Back From the 80's (2007), Unanimity (2009) and Weekend in L.A. (A Tribute To George Benson) (2012) he set milestones of smooth jazz. His new album C'est Le Funk will be released on September 8th, 2014 in digital version, the physical follows on 15th. Multi-instrumentalist U-NAM is joined on this project by Dwayne "Smitty" Smith and Darryl Williams (bass), Tim "TiO" Owens, Gennine Francis-Jackson (vocals) and Shannon Kennedy (vocals, saxophone and flutes), Michael White (drums), Denis Benarrosh (percussion), Bill Steinway (Fender Rhodes, Piano), Kim Hansen (Fender Rhodes and keyboards), Christian Martinez (trumpet), Raymond Gimenes and Maria Grigoryeva (strings). After the release of the first single, C'est Le Funk, and after writing and producing RSVP featuring Donnie for James Day U-NAM had the idea to create this new album. Following the collaboration between Daft Punk/Nile Rodgers, James asked him to do a "Chic" influenced-tune that heavily featured funky guitar. U-NAM comments A little expertise of mine since its what I've worked on developing most of my life. Nile Rodgers always been a big influence of mine as a guitar player, so with my own single "C'est Le Funk," I've tried to incorporate that "Chic" influence into a more Smooth Jazz song, using my jazz guitar signature sounds. It was a fun little project and I've actually been really quite pleasantly surprised by the feedback. The song did really great in the charts and I've decided to do another single more influenced by the 80s Funk/Earth, Wind and Fire style. That second single, Something's Up reached the Top30 US Billboard Jazz Charts. Suddenly, everything clicked into place. For the album, I knew that I had to mix 80s Funk --SmoothJazz dot De

Funky is as funky does and U/Nam's C'est Le Funk is the new sound for contemporary instrumental music! For the artists that walk the smoother side of the improvisational street, the groove has remained stagnant for over a decade. The differences between most artists can be measured with a sheet of paper. U/Nam's C'est Le Funk pushes the music forward and drops a groove bomb of flavor and lyrical flow that most artists are still struggling to find. These are old school vibes dusted off with a new cool funk full of attitude and a technical proficiency to match. While there is an obvious George Benson like influence, U/Nam channels this pioneering sound into his own unique presentation. Simply put, no other contemporary artist sounds like U/Nam! This soulful and soul filled excursion into the land of rhythm and groove contains notable influences from Maze, Earth Wind and Fire and the great Nile Rodgers but U/Nam puts the paddles to the sound of yesterday and updates the funk with fresh beats and a new attitude. "Smoovin" is a stylistic romp with a lyrical sense of purpose while "Something's Up" is indeed a beat you hear with your feet. U/Nam's playing is clean and precise but never sounding as though it has been sanitized for your protection. A highly emotive and deceptively subtle nuanced flair takes over the cover of the Maze classic "Can't Get Over You." Vocals and production are spot on. While the vibe is from back in the day, the execution is a contemporary onslaught of texture and flavor that makes C'est Le Funk a modern day wonderland of sound and style. This is smooth jazz all grown up! U/Nam is the real deal! --Brent Black /Criticaljazz

Guitarist/producer U-Nam is again standing tall and looming large on the smooth jazz scene with another creative gem called C est Le Funk. In addition to dazzling us with his graceful and funky instrumental work (and one funky delivery with vocals from Tim TiO Owens), the album is loaded with strong production and presence. Wasting no time putting the groove into high gear from the start, the guitarist leads off with a driving track called Smoovin , continues plowing ahead with the party groover Something s Up and strutting right through the super-funky, hook-rich title track which features Nivo Deux (Nivo Deux is actually a project organized by U-Nam and wife Shannon Kennedy focusing on the incorporation of 80 s Pop, Smooth Jazz, and Electro-Funk). At this point, we are now up and climbing through the clouds as U-Nam fires on all cylinders and takes us out into the stratosphere with his assortment of grab ya vibes. His handling of Maze s Can t Get Over You, an R&Bish mid-tempo charmer that s loaded with soul and a bit of sass, is simply masterful, as is his cover of Keni Burke s bottom-heavy slick and funky Risin To The Top (a sensation U-Nam should have personally become familiar with a long while ago, if you ask me). As mentioned above, the one vocal track offered, a great cover of Fat Larry s Band s Act Like You Know, is mightily delivered with TiO Owens exercising his pipes to full effect. Employing such effects as strings on select tracks here, U-Nam remains committed to pulling out all stops in bringing you the best he has to offer and, needless to say, that s a lot. With his never miss style of funk and style, he guides us through a kaleidoscope of sound, employing Benson-like runs and flavorful phrasings. We often say that this artist or that one is like no other, and U-Nam clearly demonstrates with each release that his name should always be among those stand-outs. With that in mind, you ll find C est Le Funk to be as much a stand-out. Ronald Jackson --Ronald Jackson-thesmoothjazzride

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Smoovin'
  2. Something's Up
  3. C'est Le Funk feat. Nivo Deux
  4. Can't Get Over You
  5. Risin' to the Top
  6. Throwback Kid
  7. Just Like That
  8. City Lights
  9. Starlight Lover
  10. Act Like You Know feat. Tim "TiO Owens
  11. Smoovin' (Radio Edit)
  12. Something's Up (Summer Radio Edit)


Product details

  • Audio CD (September 15, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Skytown Records
  • ASIN: B00MMP1OCE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,897 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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