That's Donny McCaslin, Mark Guiliana, and Tony Visconti - the sax player, drummer, and producer of David Bowie's newest album Blackstar. The quote is from Rolling Stone's article on the album here. I wanted to see what the story was, how these amazing New York musicians ended up on Bowie's newest album. Of course, it includes that very Bowie-esque line.
When it was announced that these guys (Tim Lefebvre, Jason Linder and Ben Monder added to the previously mentioned) would be the musicians on Blackstar, I got really excited. After listening to the album twice this morning, I wasn't quite sure what to think. My first impression is just giddiness - hearing Guiliana's extremely recognizable playing right off the bat was incredibly exciting. The rest of the songs do not disappoint with the hallmarks of what you'd expect from these guys - great playing and interaction, cool and interesting sounds, tons of things to practice. But I'm a listener that doesn't know a ton of Bowie stuff except the 70's albums - where does this stand?
Andy Gill from The Independent says it's "the most extreme album of his entire career: Blackstar is as far as he's strayed from pop." And Visconti in the Rolling Stone piece says they wanted to stay away from rock and roll as much as possible. Is this album extreme? I guess so - it's got a lot of sax on it and you don't hear that too much in pop or rock. The songs are not all verse-chorus-verse-chorus, so it's a little different in that respect. But I just can't agree that it's a weird or avant garde album: the musicians were hired to do what they've done in a number of projects for close to a decade. My first listen made me think of Lefebvre's band Rudder more than the Donny McCaslin albums they've all done together.
When Low came out in 1977, it got some pretty mixed or even bad reviews. Now everybody says it's one of the best albums of the 70's and call Bowie a master of rock and the avant garde. Blackstar comes out in 2016, everybody gives it very positive reviews. I wonder if anybody will say anything about it in 35 years.