played with Ulf Wakenius for the last four years, and listening
nightly to his musical offerings in my quartet, I have no other
recourse than to believe that my dear friend and guitarist Ulf
does not recognize geographical barriers when it comes to musical
conception. As I listened to this new album of his, I could not
help being not only amazed but also thankful for the opportunity
of playing with this great Swedish talent.
Tune for tune, I could
only marvel at not only his musical dexterity, but more importantly
to me, his deep roots into the true lifeline of Jazz and the
Blues. Ulf has presented us here with an honest and deeply moving
photograph of himself musically. In this world of "wannabe"
guitarists, who for some reason seem to forget that the guitar
is not only a formidable, lyrical and harmonic goldmine within
itself, it is a real musical treat to listen to this talented
Swede become as one with this musically gallant instrument. This
album is not cluttered with other instruments getting in the
way of his expression, but in reality is a collection of musical
truths whose roots are deeply embedded in the only true recipe
for Jazz: the Blues.
Ulf pays tribute in
the most musical manner to many of his stringed predecessors,
and most noticeably, Joe Pass, a gentleman I had the musical
pleasure of having in my group for years. To even contemplate
dedicating a tune to the now deceased genius of the guitar, to
many other guitar players would be a nightmare of unfathomable
proportions due to the depth of Joe's talent. Ulf succeeds where
many others would have failed miserably. His lyrical virtuosity
and harmonic dexterity are things of musical beauty, and in this
album they are displayed to their fullest extent.
I close only by saying
thank you for being here, Ulf, and with your playing, extending
the tasteful and talented history of Jazz guitar. May you reign