Guitarist Bronson Ferdinand's digital-only album My Ghosts is no doubt a rock project, but it features a cast of Capilano University 2010s jazz friends he made over the past decade. The jazz sensibility in how these players approach Bronson's original music makes it prog, with some extended jams that you might have heard in the climactic moments of sets at El Barrio, Falconetti's, and Presentation House back then.
Mixed and mastered by Jesus Caballero, My Ghosts was recorded in 2018, just as Bronson and the musicians were a few years into post-CapU adult life. Bronson has done some time on cruise ships and is back in Vancouver with this collection of epic arrangements.
Don't let the buzz in the background of track one's quiet intro put you off: the album's audio quality is not a problem. The circa-1980 rock spirit – dare I say The Spirit of Radio? – is alive on the energetic grooves of "Shapeshifter", "Warfare", and my favourite track, the closer "Way Back Home" which contains the album title in its lyrics.
My Ghosts has some outstanding drumming on every track, and all the while Bronson sits in the centre, orchestrating from the guitar. The funk rock and MusicMan-like bass tone on "I-330" almost goes Red Hot Chili Peppers before those octaved saxophones bring it closer to the rock trio Morphine.
Dissonance from multiple singers, Mike WT Allen's bari sax, and the softer tracks like "Ditto" and "Another Lover's Skin" (before it builds) reveal more of the group's jazz foundation. It's an ensemble that shines in its raucous, loud sections where voices scream and the feeling is flat-out; Bronson and his band have captured a vital possibility that, despite being distributed among their more complex lives five years later, surely lives on.
My Ghosts: Shapeshifter; Ditto; Warfare; Another Lover's Skin; After the Flood; I-330; Way Back Home. (40:53)
Personnel: Bronson Ferdinand on guitars; Tahnee Juryn, Jessica Heaven, Kria Wall, & Sara Kim on vocals; Mike WT Allen on baritone saxophone; Ardeshir Pourkeramati & Riley Johnson on saxophones; Karl Kirkwallace on bass; Eliot Doyle on drums.