It hasn’t been long since harmonica player Yvonnick Prené’s last release – he made his debut just under a year ago with “Jour de Fête” in March 2013 – but that hasn’t stopped the New York based musician from heading back into the studio to produce yet another outstanding project. And so, it is with absolute pleasure that we introduce you to “Wonderful World”, the latest release from Yvonnick Prené and Padam Swing.

“Wonderful World,” Yvonnick Prené’s sophomore record, was released in December 2013 and it features a new side of the up and coming artist as part of the group Padam Swing. While “Jour de Fête”, his debut project, showcases Prené’s talents as a jazz harmonica player, “Wonderful World” pays homage to the gypsy jazz style and it’s clear that the artist feels quite at home in the two genres.

The album commences with “Coquette”, a jazz and gypsy standard composed by Johnny Green and Carmen Lombardo in 1928. The tune is the perfect introduction to the release and sets the tone for the heartfelt ballads, standards, and jazz manouche style works that make up “Wonderful World.”

The title track, “What a Wonderful World”, showcases Prené as part of an intimate arrangement that, along with Sting’s “Shape of My Heart” and Charles Mingus’ “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love” make up the beautifully performed ballads from the album.

“La Valse d’Amy”, an original composition penned by Prené is probably one of my favorite tracks from the album. It is the epitome of the French music styles that have pervaded the Paris streets since the jazz manouche style began to establish its roots under Django Reinhardt in the 1930s.

The other tracks on the album vary from the Latin-infused “Desafinado” to Coltrane’s “Pent-Up House” and Reinhardt’s “Troublant Bolero”. The songs are certainly diverse, but it makes the project a captivating and intriguing listen from start to finish.

Overall, this is an excellent project and highly recommended. A few of the tracks from Yvonnick Prene’s “Wonderful World” are definitely in my “favorites” playlist.

The group, Padam Swing, is comprised of Scott Tixier on violin, Michael Valeanu on guitar, Lorin Cohen on bass and Yvonnick Prené on harmonica. You can read our interview with Yvonnick Prené here as well as our review of his first album, “Jour de Fête.”

Get Wonderful World on Amazon

Title: Wonderful World
Artist: Yvonnick Prené & Padam Swing
Date: December 16, 2013
Genre: Gypsy Jazz
Label: Yvonnick Prené


01 Coquette
02 What a Wonderful World
03 Desafinado
04 La Valse d’Amy
05 Strollin’
06 Shape of My Heart
07 Troublant Bolero
08 All of Me
09 Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love
10 The Swimmer
11 Pent-Up House

Get Wonderful World on Amazon

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.