NORTH “2UNES” WOODALL: Straight At You (Label:

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Don’t know a thing about the wonderfully named “2unes” Woodall save that he plays a mean guitar and knows a bit about soul’s back catalogue. A few years ago the music on this eleven tracker would have become a mainstay on the old Jazz FM (remember when they played jazz – smooth or otherwise?) but now, with decent outlets denied, it’s hard to say how this album will get away other than via word of mouth … and indeed that’s how the buzz on the CD has built up. Some savvy, crate-digging, net-searching members of the modern soul crowd have gotten hold of one of the album’s tracks and started to play it out, and so the interest in ‘ole “2unes” has begun. Oddly though, the track in question, ‘All I Need Is You’, is not particularly representative of the album overall. The cut’s a nifty, shifty dancer and though a little lightweight, its tempo and retro feel are both perfect for the modern room. It is of course a vocal track (courtesy of Anna Sullivant) while the majority of the remaining ten tracks are smooth jazz instrumentals featuring Woodall’s Benson-inspired guitar. The most obvious Benson pastiche is ‘Café’ while ‘MVP’ displays a deal of fret board intricacy. Elsewhere there are plenty of covers of well-known tunes like the Friends Of Distinction’s ‘Going In Circles’, Paul Hardcastle’s ‘Rainforest’, EWF’s ‘Let’s Groove’ and the Whispers’ ‘Rock Steady’ (a tune that’s been put into a much better smooth jazz setting by Paul Jackson Jr., by the way). Interestingly Mr. Woodall claims to be the “songwriter” throughout – hope he knows a good copyright lawyer! That legal thing, though, is secondary to the music. What we have here is one of those indie albums that soul people will dismiss as a “one tracker” … bit of a shame that, ‘cos there’s some decent, if unspectacular, smooth jazz herein. You can investigate more at
(BB) 3/5