French-born, Los Angeles-based smooth jazz guitarist U-Nam recently released a new album, "U-Nam Goes Big Band," on Skytown Records, all of the songs on which were originally composed by Estonians including Ülo Vinter, Uno Loop and Raimond Valgre.
The 11-track mood jazz album began with a phone call to the Billboard-charting musician's LA studio by Estonian producer Mikk Targo.
Estonian Authors' Society (EAÜ) founder and board chairman Targo had spent years working together with music industry experts to choose the best 100 Estonian songs of all time. In the process, a handful of songs were selected to serve as a journey into Estonian music history. These songs were recorded as an album by Lutz Krajenski Big Band, released in 2016, but Targo was convinced that the project nonetheless needed a slightly different approach in order to achieve broader international appeal. Familiar with U-Nam's music, Targo decided to offer the material to him.
U-Nam has enjoyed increasing success since moving from Paris to the U.S. in 2007. "Street Life," from his sophomore album "Back from the 80's," remained in Billboard's top three for three months and top ten for an entire year. He reached a new level of fame upon the release of "Weekend in L.A.: A Tribute to George Benson" in 2012, which featured legendary artists such as George Duke, Marcus Miller, Ronnie Foster, Patrice Rushen, Wah Watson, Phil Perry, Stokley Williams and Paul Jackson Jr. and netted him Grammy nominations with ten songs in six categories that year.
'U-Nam Goes Big Band'
-"Something Right" ("Mis värvi on armastus"), Arne Oit
-"In the Blink of an Eye" ("Kevadine lugu"), Arne Oit
-"The One" ("Suveöö"), Arne Oit
-"Each Day's a Gift" ("Lahkumislaul"), Ülo Vinter
-"Dance" ("Kamina ees"), Uno Loop
-"The World to Me" ("Ei kunagi"), Evald Vain
-"Saaremaa" ("Neil päevil polnud algust"), Uno Naissoo
-"The Dance Must Go On, feat. Susanna Aleksandra" ("Kaks kuukiirt mu toas"), Arne Oit
-"Beautiful, Beautiful" ("Mind veel ei ole"), Arne Oit
-"When You Fall in Love" ("Sinilind"), Raimond Valgre
-"Each Day's a Gift, feat. Steve Brookstein" ("Lahkumislaul"), Ülo Vinter
Editor: Aili Vahtla