Best Vancouver albums of 2015

ghostsSkim Milk – Ghosts of Jazz
Listen: “Old Boy”

Sam Davidson studied orchestral clarinet at UBC and continued exploring the instrument through a three-month residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. There, he met and joined the spacey local ensemble Brasstronaut who were also partaking in a residency. Ghosts of Jazz is his second solo outing and is the synthesis of his immersive formal education in music and all of his experiences abroad, including tours through North America and Europe with the band as well as the time he spent living in Montréal, where he delved deeply into hip hop and the city’s rich electronic culture.

As Skim Milk, Davidson conjures the ghosts of jazz by sampling the genre’s legends. The re-contextualized clips are sometimes almost snuck into the trippy mixes and then further filtered through modern technology including his signature EWI (electronic wind instrument), a wind-controlled synthesizer. His extensive sampling is just one example of Ghosts‘ indebtedness to multiple genres other than jazz. He also layers instrumental loops to create brooding soundscapes. Ghosts of Jazz is ambitious, bridging genres and eras in intriguing ways while shooting off on its own path.

Leslie Ken Chu

Leslie Ken Chu