Head of Mine/Tokyo

““Head of Mine””

(Motema Music)

As heard on his 2018 full-album release Blow, saxophonist Donny McCaslin continues to explore the influence of David Bowie, on whose 2016 release Blackstar he played such an integral role. Bowie, who passed away that same year, advised McCaslin to follow his muse wherever it led and not worry so much about how his music would be classified. He also encouraged the saxophonist to manipulate his sound, utilizing loops and textures, during his improvisations, and electronics have become a vital part of McCaslin’s aesthetic. McCaslin’s directional pivot can be heard on his new singles, “Head of Mine” and “Tokyo” (Motéma). On the former, featured here, McCaslin collaborates with vocalist Gail Ann Dorsey, who frequently worked with Bowie. The atmospheric track contains minimalist flute and saxophone, which contribute to the overall feel of the piece, providing color rather than serving as solo statements.

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The Authoritative Voice in Jazz