Ulf Bandgren

Sometime in the late 60's I heard a recording by Gary Burton and Larry Coryell. That record began a new jazz era for me; a softer type of jazz, but as intense as the one I had been living with up until that point. When I listen to Ulf Bandgren's playing, his music arouses a familiar sensation within me. It is a mixture of Swedish melancholy, echoes of the sea, blues, jazz and a bit of country and western... almost the same feeling Gary Burton's music gave me once upon a time, but now tinged with the Swedish "soul". These songs are not only sketches or drafts with a Nordic touch, but small complete masterpieces. The first time I heard Ulf play guitar was together with harmonica player Bengt Andersson's Quintet somewhere out in the Swedish countryside. Bandgren played with a striking technique, a solid feel for form, and with great timing. Over the years I have had the opportunity of hearing Ulf on various occasions. We have happened upon one another in many different musical situations. As a freelance guitarist he has appeared in a wide variety of contexts; TV, radio, pop, jazz, dance music, you name it: everything from Gold Record selling pop groups to vintage swing music. Ulf Bandgren is a multi faceted and skilled guitarist who as a freelance musician has had to focus on what is required, use his professional skills, and, perhaps most importantly, maintain a clearly defined musical identity of his own. Göran Levin

Nordic Sketches

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