XRIJF 2017 Picks: Donny McCaslin Group, Xerox Auditorium at Xerox Plaza, Saturday, July 1, 6:30 & 9:00 pm
Saxophonist Donny McCaslin and his band have been in the news recently for being featured on David Bowie’s last album Blackstar (affiliate link), made their debut on the Motéma Music label in October with the release of Beyond Now (affliate link), an album dedicated to Bowie. Recorded about three months after Bowie’s death, the project was influenced by the extraordinary experience McCaslin and the group had collaborating with Bowie on his final album. "It was like a dream except it was something I never could have dreamed of," reflected McCaslin on working hand-in-hand with Bowie on Blackstar. "David Bowie was a visionary artist whose generosity, creative spirit, and fearlessness will stay with me the rest of my days. Beyond Now is dedicated to him and to all who loved him."
The Donny McCaslin Group, is comprised of the core Blackstar personnel, including bassist Tim Lefebvre, drummer Mark Guiliana, and Jason Lindner, along with guitarist Nate Wood and producer David Binney. The new CD, Beyond Now includes two Bowie songs, covers of record producer and DJ Deadmau5, MUTEMATH, and the Chainsmokers, plus McCaslin originals, including the title composition, inspired by a track inspired by a song McCaslin recorded for Blackstar that didn’t make the album.
OK, I admit that growing up in the 1970s-80s, David Bowie was a major part of my soundtrack, but that's not why I want to see this group. McCaslin is a top-notch sax player and Beyond Now straddles both the traditional sounds of that horn with a funky and modern alternative rock sensibility. I doubt they'll get people dancing in the aisles at Xerox Auditorium, but it could happen....
- Donny McCaslin website
- Washington Post article “Recording with David Bowie left a mark on jazz sax player Donny McCaslin”
- Video of Donny McCaslin Group at Tampere Jazz Happening (May 2016)
- Donny McCaslin live set at Village Vanguard, Part 1 (December 2016)
- Donny McCaslin live at Village Vanguard, Part 2 (December 2016)
- Beyond Now selections on Apple Music
- Beyond Now on Spotify