CD Reviews

MusicWeb International

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

AmazonUK   AmazonUS



Act 9523-2



1. Vagabond
2. Message in a Bottle
3. Bretagne
4. Psalmen
5. Breakfast in Baghdad
6. Song for Japan
7. Birds and Bees
8. Praying
9. Chorinho
10. Witchi-Tai-To
11. Encore

Ulf Wakenius - Acoustic guitars, oud, chant
Vincent Peirani - Accordion, accordina, voice
Lars Danielsson - Bass, cello
Eric Wakenius - Acoustic steel string guitar
Michael Dahlvid - Darbuka, cajon
Youn Sun Nah - Vocals (track 2)
Nguyên Lê - Electric guitar (track 2)


Ulf Wakenius is well-known for playing the electric guitar with such stars as Oscar Peterson, Niels-Henning Oersted Pedersen and Ray Brown. But on this album he plays the acoustic guitar and the oud. Just as the sitar kept cropping up on records in the 1960s, so the oud seems to be making more and more appearances on today's recordings. It is an Arabic form of lute, and has a drier sound than the acoustic guitar. Wakenius is equally adept on both instruments.

In the same way as the oud seems increasingly popular, so the accordion is apparently making a come-back, with such virtuosi as Richard Galliano and this album's Vincent Peirani showing how well suited it is to contemporary jazz, especially as jazz takes on more influences from World Music. Ulf Wakenius met Peirani in Paris, which is also the base for the Korean vocalist Youn Sun Nah, who appears on this CD performing the Police's hit Message in a Bottle.

The album title, Vagabond, suggests the peripatetic nature of a musician's life, and this album reflects the theme in the variety of musical styles from different parts of the world. Thus Bretagne conjures up images of France, with Peirani's accordion recalling the musette. Psalmen (composed by Lars Danielsson) has a Scandinavian coolness about it, while Song for Japan evokes the sound of the Japanese samisen. Witchi-Tai-To suggests the throbbing drums of Native Americans, accentuated by chanting.

Attila Zoller's Birds and Bees is performed as a guitar duet by Ulf and his son Eric. You might pigeon-hole some of these tracks as World Music rather than jazz but there is no doubting their appeal. Lyle Mays' Chorinho is decidedly jazzy, with a seductive lilt. Whatever your taste, you will find something here to attract and intrigue you.

Tony Augarde

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Return to Index

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: