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Ulf Wakenius: Forever You

While Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius employs an electric archtop when playing as a member of the current Oscar Peterson Quartet, he occasionally unplugs, as on Forever You (Stunt), a beautiful, ECM-ish sounding quartet session. Maybe Peterson’s refined piano ruminations have left a dent on Wakenius, or perhaps Swedish minimalism has rubbed off on him. Whatever the case, Wakenius never wastes a note, never resorts to flashy runs and decorates this set sparsely, with no gaudy ornaments.

Pianist Carsten Dahl matches the guitarist’s elegance, tapping “All the Things You Are” for all its romance and underscoring the melancholy of original lines by Wakenius and bassist Lars Danielsson. No player rushes through anything on this album, and though the tunes’ sameness in tempi invites a nap as things progress, it’s hard imagining an upbeat number interrupting the slow but steady pulse. The mix leaves so much space around each instrument, you could dance right through to the lull of Morten Lund’s sweetly swaying drum work, which, on an album full of love songs, could be the point.

Originally Published