Donny McCaslin Trio
Donny McCaslin Trio
Donny McCaslin – Tenor Saxophone
Dezron Douglas – Bass
Joe Dyson – Drums
Throughout his extensive career, protean tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin has integrated his powerful tone and virtuosic technique with the full palette of sounds and moods his instrument can produce: from contemporary post-bop and the electronic fusion of David Bowie’s Blackstar to the uncharted territory and wide-ranging emotions found on his latest release Blow. Now, continuing his prismatic artistic journey, McCaslin is excited to present a newly evolved live concert experience alongside two fellow titans of modern jazz.
A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, Donny McCaslin began playing the saxophone during his early childhood years. While perhaps best recognized for his contributions to Blackstar, David Bowie’s final studio album, McCaslin’s comprehensive approach to jazz as a popular American music genre is vast and mesmerizing.
During his senior year at Berklee he joined vibraphonist Gary Burton’s quintet, and for four years the group toured Europe, Japan, North America, and South America. During 1991, after moving to New York City, McCaslin became a member of Steps Ahead, and played with them for over three years. Michael Brecker, formerly of Steps Ahead, had been one of McCaslin’s teenage idols; now McCaslin was replacing him. McCaslin co-wrote two of the compositions that appeared on the group’s album Vibe. During those same years, McCaslin actively gigged with top jazz artists and groups, such as the Gil Evans Orchestra, George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, the Danilo Perez Quartet, the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, and Santi Debriano’s Panamaniacs, in addition to appearing on many recordings.
In 1998, McCaslin released his first solo record Exile and Discovery, followed by Seen from Above and Way Through, and his skill was celebrated by critics, musicians, and fans alike, enhancing his reputation as a leader and valued sideman. Among his other notable accolades in the ensuing years was a Grammy nomination for his solo performance on the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra’s Sky Blue. In the 2010s McCaslin and his quartet held down a regular run at the iconic 55 Club in Greenwich Village, where David Bowie first heard them perform and invited them to collaborate on his critically acclaimed 2016 release of Blackstar.
In 2017 McCaslin began pre-production on an album with Steve Wall, tying together the kaleidoscopic sound worlds he’d been exploring with Bowie and his own group in the aftermath of the singer’s passing. Vocals played a large part in the creation of the work he was recording. McCaslin recruited the talents of Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek, Gayle Ann Dorsey, Ryan Dahle, and Jeff Taylor to front his band, which also included Jason Lindner on keyboards, Tim Lefebvre on electric bass, and Mark Guiliana and Zach Danziger on drums and programming. Two advance singles, “Great Destroyer” and “Club Kidd”, showcased McCaslin’s fascination with avant pop. The finished album, entitled Blow., was issued in September 2018 on Motéma.