Saxophonist and David Bowie Blackstar bandleader Donny McCaslin today released two new singles, collectively building on the momentum of his critically-acclaimed and genre-transcending album Blow. (released less than one year ago on Motéma Music).
Vocalist and fellow Bowie collaborator Gail Ann Dorsey is featured on McCaslin’s first new single “Head of Mine.” The collaboration is timely for Dorsey, who was most recently featured on The National’s new album I Am Easy to Find and subsequent tour dates (as well as working with McCaslin on Blow.). The track centers on the classic personal conflict we go through navigating between our better suited intentions versus our impulsive actions.
“Working with Gail Ann Dorsey is a gift of life for me,” says McCaslin. “She’s a most deeply expressive artist, and absolutely radiates on this track. She and I share a profound ancestry that I humbly cherish. This song is an extension of Blow. For me, It beautifully demonstrates the feeling of restless tranquility. It’s unusual for me not to have saxophone featured on a track but it gives the opportunity for me to lead in a different way and is very in line with the direction I’m headed.”
“There have been many amazing opportunities that have come my way because of my association with David Bowie. One great perk has been the outstanding musicians I’ve had the honour of working with that were part of Bowie’s extraordinary creative circle during my years as a member of that illustrious group,” reflects Dorsey. “Although Donny McCaslin and I did not work together under David’s guidance and vision, there was a ‘connection’ when we met after David’s passing, and I could not be happier with the collaborations that have since materialized; first, ‘Eye Of The Beholder’, and now the release of ‘Head Of Mine’. Something about Donny’s compositions and my vocals is a very comfortable and complementary fit, and I think our friend David would agree.”
The second single, “Tokyo,” is an instrumental composition depicting the dense, yet tranquil nature of the city’s iconic “late night” landscape, inspired by McCaslin’s experience touring there.
McCaslin’s latest album Blow. fully realizes McCaslin’s evolved artistic direction and is the most daring work of his two-decade career. As NPR’s Bob Boilen nicely puts it on the popular All Songs Considered when introducing “What About the Body”, “It’s that place in music where it’s not anything, and it’s everything…I love this…”
Produced by Steve Wall (Tall Heights, Lucius), Blow. features a top-notch cast of musicians including vocal collaborations with Dorsey, Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek, longtime collaborator Jeff Taylor, and singer-songwriter Ryan Dahle (The Age of Electric, Limblifter, Mounties). Additional heavy hitting instrumentalists include Nate Wood, Zach Danziger, Ben Monder, Jonathan Maron as well as keyboardist Jason Lindner, who was featured on Bowie’s Blackstar with McCaslin. “The idea was to just really go for exploring these collaborations and documenting everything,” explains McCaslin, adding that the project had a “good gestation process” and developed “in a way that didn’t feel rushed.” “Going all in with new territory is really stimulating to me.”
For more information on Donny McCaslin, visit donnymccaslin.com