- Donny McCaslin / Kneebody
- Monday, September 24 at 7:00 pm
- The Triple Door, Seattle
As the bandleader on David Bowie's final album Blackstar, saxophonist Donny McCaslin witnessed firsthand the musician's penchant for reinvention. With his upcoming studio album — a daring fusion of vibrant electronica, and bombastic alt-rock due this fall — McCaslin applied that mindset to his own work. "Before working with him, things like this didn't seem possible to me," McCaslin says of his new material, which arrives two decades into an acclaimed career. "The affirmation of that project and how wonderfully that turned out artistically — I feel like anything is possible now."
The first taste McCaslin has offered from his forthcoming full-length is "What About the Body," a raucous, propulsive blast of improvisational alternative music that encapsulates his bold new direction. For the single, McCaslin recruited Blackstar bassist Tim Lefebvre and "brilliant songwriter and lyricist" Ryan Dahle (Limblifter, Mounties). The track's heady blend of saxophone and flute, pianos and Wurlitzer, electric bass and pummeling drums captures McCaslin's core roots while also bringing in more recent influences such as Radiohead and Bon Iver. And delivered by Dahle, the tune's forceful lyrics — "Left-wing, right-wing / What about the body?" — hint at modern unrest. "One interpretation could be the state of America right now," McCaslin explains. "To me, that's a provocative thought: What about the body, the soul of America?" Taken together, the elements signify McCaslin's next thrilling chapter.