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Love Is Real

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Album Review

Guitarist Ulf Wakenius is known for his recordings as a sideman with both Oscar Peterson and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, but this session is a bit different from his earlier efforts as a leader. Focusing exclusively on the compositions of the late Esbjörn Svensson, Wakenius is removed from typical bop/post-bop settings. Joined by bassist Lars Danielsson (who doubles on cello), pianist Lars Jansson, and drummer Morten Lund, plus guests including the Radio String Quartet Vienna, trumpeters Till Brönner and Paolo Fresu, trombonist Nils Landgren, and guitarist Eric Wakenius, the leader does a remarkable job putting his own stamp on the music of his late countryman. The tense "Dodge the Dodo" gives Wakenius room to show off some Gyspy-like chops on acoustic guitar, though in a setting that blends elements of rock and modern jazz, with Eric Wakenius wrapping the piece with a piercing electric guitar solo. The gentle ballad "Believe, Beleft, Below (Love Is Real)" has a country air, while "Eighthundred Streets by Feet" incorporates classical guitar and elements of tango. Fans of E.S.T. will enjoy this tribute to the late Esbjörn Svensson.


Born: 16 April 1958 in Halmstad, Sweden

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

b. Ulf Karl Erik Wakenius, 16 April 1958, Halmstad, Sweden. Raised in Gothenburg, Wakenius played guitar from early childhood. At first self-taught, he later studied at Gothenburg Conservatoire. Initially, his interest lay in contemporary blues but he later moved into jazz. By his late teens he was already known as a session musician and in the mid- and late 70s he was with the Swedish bands Sundance and Mwendo Dawa. Later, he toured Europe and in the early 80s he and fellow guitarist Peter Almqvist...
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Love Is Real, Ulf Wakenius
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