Sky Canyon – Wijic

We were recently sent a really interesting and unique lounge jazz instrumental track by Sky Canyon and we’ve been taking a long, chilled out listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.

Released in late 2021, Wijic is just over 6 minutes of pure heaven for vibraphone fans! This track is a perfect example of the lounge jazz genre and the musicianship here is really rather exceptional.

This classy jazz quartet is headed by Sky Canyon on vibraphone, with A-list players Justin Adams on piano, Ron Bland on upright bass and Mike Marlier on drums it is sure to please anyone seeking out a blast from the past of some real quality jazz.

The song starts on some gentle jazz piano, and added in are swing jazz drums (we love the use of brushes so this was a plus!) and some beautiful double bass work.

The focus of the track throughout is the vibraphone. It features heavily and for the most part it is the main solo instrument. The transition between vibes solos and piano solos is positively seamless and throughout the track, it is very clear that each musician knows who the soloist is. The pianist riffs beautifully under the vibraphone solos and vice versa and the drums and bass sit in the background, taking the occasional moment to show their equal level of expertise, but for the most part, it is the vibraphone that takes centre stage.

We must take note of a rather superb drums solo at one point though, which gives the track a real live feel. There’s something really stylish about watching jazz live where each musician is given plenty of time to shine.

We felt that this track was very reminiscent of a live performance and it we could almost imagine the huge grins on each performers faces as they utterly nail their craft.

All four musicians here very clearly display a vast knowledge of music theory, and the note choices of both soloists indicate a very in depth knowledge of jazz scales.

The vibraphone playing in many places reminded us of the great, Lionel Hampton. Sky Canyon is a musician who has dedicated himself to mastering this wonderful instrument.

From our perspective on production, there’s just a few spots in the vibraphone that are peaking a little. Perhaps a cut in the vibraphone track around 400Hz will help make them sit just a little more in the track.

This really is a stunning example of world class musicianship in a genre that simply isn’t heard enough these days. Sky Canyon and his quartet and flying the lounge jazz flag high and we’ve found ourselves a new benchmark. Great stuff!