MOJO has the exclusive full story of David Bowie’s new album ★ (or Blackstar if you want to say it out loud) in our new issue, which is on sale in the UK from Tuesday.
“This is fresh. This came from a different space,” longtime Bowie producer/confidant Tony Visconti says of the album, whose title track is premiered in full on Sky Atlantic tonight (November 19) at 8.45pm GMT. Visconti goes on to explain how their approach to ★ differs from its predecessor, 2013’s The Next Day, which referenced Bowie’s earlier work.
“The Next Day started out trying to do something new but something old kept creeping in.” says Visconti. “Not this album.”
★'s exciting, adventurous vibe – jazz-informed, but rock-intense – is more than partly down to the cast of young musicians Bowie assembled for the New York sessions, which took place between January and May this year.
Saxophonist Donny McCaslin and guitarist Ben Monder came to Bowie’s attention at the session with bandleader Maria Schneider that resulted in November 2014's one-off single Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime). The core ★ group also includes Mark Guiliana on drums, Tim Lefebvre on bass and Jason Lindner on keys. Here’s what they get up to when they’re not making David Bowie albums.
“David on purpose used Donny so that [self referencing wouldn’t happen],” says Visconti of the new team. “If we’d used David’s former musicians they would be rock people playing jazz. Having jazz guys play rock music turns it upside down. Their approach to the music was so refreshing, I looked forward to every day in the studio. Nothing was done recalling the past.”
The new issue of MOJO is a David Bowie Special. Residing in a posh card sleeve, it includes the exclusive inside story of ★, two deluxe Bowie art prints, a collectors’ cover, an in-depth feature celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Scary Monsters, PLUS a free CD featuring the best music of 2015, including New Order, Julia Holter, Sufjan Stevens and more.
Here’s what the full package looks like...
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Also in the issue: the 50 Best Albums Of 2015, Laurie Anderson in the MOJO Interview, Fleetwood Mac relive Tusk, unseen AC/DC, plus Don Henley, Danger Mouse, Brian Wilson, Jason Isbell, Bruce Springsteen, and the strange tale of Orion. Check out more contents here.
Pick up the new MOJO off UK newsstands from Tuesday, November 24. Or order a copy online now.
★'s title track can be currently heard in an edited form as the theme tune for new crime series The Last Panthers.
★ is released physically on Bowie’s birthday – January 8, 2016.