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"Ulf Wakenius"


Vision Music presents, for your learning pleasure...

Minor Expressions

by Ulf Wakenius

Ulf Wakenius...

The man who holds perhaps the most impressive role for a jazz guitarist ever, as a member of legendary pianist Oscar Peterson's Quartet, Ulf Wakenius brings his knowledge to Vision Music. In "Minor Expressions" Ulf shares some superb licks transcribed from "Notes to J.C." - a tribute to saxophonist John Coltrane.


This Lesson & More...

"Minor Expressions" is based on the blusesy rubato ("free time") introduction to Ulf's tribute to Trane, recorded on an amazing 18-19 minute concert performance ("Live" - Ulf Wakenius Quartet - Dragon Records/1999). Use these outstanding blues and jazz cliches to enhance your work, regardless of style. But that's not all...

"Notes To J.C." comprises the second part of this lesson from Mr. Wakenius, so you can also learn his original song, based on the changes to Trane's classic "Mister P.C."


A 'Very Special' Welcome...

It is with great pleasure that I announce the addition of my friend, jazz guitar virtuoso Ulf Wakenius to our Teacher Feature guest faculty! I must confess that this is personal for me. While Ulf is one of the finest players in the world and certainly deserving of great recognition for his notable accomplishments, he was discovered by Ray Brown, one of my main influences on bass, then introduced to Oscar Peterson, the pianist responsible for fueling my interest in jazz many years ago.

"Sure Enough" is a blues that I recently dedicated to Ulf, in celebration of our friendship. The fact that this piece was crafted from the work of Oscar Peterson makes it especially appropriate. Enjoy!

- Mark Stefani



Portrait of an Artist...

Ulf Wakenius was born in Halmstad, Sweden on April 16, 1958. He began playing the guitar at the age of eleven, inspired by other guitarists in the neighborhood of his new hometown, Gothenburg. After picking up the guitar Ulf never looked back. In the beginning he was inspired by virtuoso electric blues guitar players but soon moved to more jazz-oriented music.

Since 1997 Ulf has held what may be the most prestigious spot in jazz for a guitarist, membership in the Oscar Peterson Quartet. His predecessors have been such legends as Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, and Joe Pass. He has performed at such classic jazz venues as Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Blue Note and played for large crowds around the world. He has also appeared on American television (CBS) and Tv Globo (Brazil) with Oscar Peterson. Last year he recorded "Trail of Dreams" with Oscar Peterson and Michel Legrand, for the Telarc label, and during recent years he has also played with such outstanding musicians as Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin, Toots Thielemans, Jack DeJohnette, Max Roach, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, James Moody, Roy Hargrove, Randy Brecker.

He has recorded two CDs, also for Telarc with the great Ray Brown: "Seven Steps To Heaven," which became number one in the U.S. jazz charts, and "Summertime," which was voted as one of the top ten albums of '98 in America. Lately he has led a stellar quintet of his own, featuring Mike Brecker and Ray Brown. Last year he did a sold out U.S. tour with Oscar Peterson.The highlight of the tour was the Hollywood Bowl concert with 17,000 people in the audience.



Testament from A Living Legend...

"After having 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 forever!"

- Oscar Peterson


Wakenius Recordings...

Ulf has 10 solo albums to his name and has recorded several albums as a sideman together with many jazz legends.

For more information about Ulf, click here to visit his website!

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