"The Essential Collection” released August 28 on the Skytown Records label, with eight (yes eight) Top 30 US Billboard hits amongst the fifteen standout tracks this is less a retrospective and more a joyous celebration of the high octane guitar driven smooth jazz that has been U-Nam’s calling card ever since 2007 and the release of his critically acclaimed breakthrough album ”Back from the 80’s.” Not only that, and as if to underscore the fact that this is far more than simply a “best of” collection, U-Nam includes two brand new songs. Both feature input from up and coming keyboard player (and label mate) Mattias Roos and the first of them, “Let the Music Play” finds U-Nam making use of full orchestral backing to tip a hat to the legendary Barry White (with whom U-Nam has worked).
In essence “The Essential Collection” shines an intricate spotlight on U-Nam’s discography to reveal a body of work that has entirely stood the test of time. A case in point is “Back from the 80’s” and how the three numbers selected from it, the opulent “Breezin M.A”, “Keep the Faith” and the #1 hit, a cover of the Crusaders classic “Street Life” all sound as relevant as they did ten years ago. Together they provide “The Essential Collection” with a foundation from which U-Nam sensationally builds, first by plundering four choice tunes from his wonderful 2016 recording “Surface Level”, and then by taking four more from his 2014 project “C’est Le Funk”. The tapestry of U-Nam’s musical life is completed by his take on George Benson’s “Love X Love” from the “Weekend in LA” CD and “Shine On” from his 2009 release “Unamimity”.