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Mark Guiliana - Bowie's Lasting Influence

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Wednesday February 28, 2018

From Band on the Wall

Mark Guiliana on Bowie’s Lasting Influence, Future Collaboration, and the Direction of the Jazz Quartet
By: Band on the Wall

You’ve just completed a short residency in New York with Donny McCaslin’s group. Does playing with Donny, Jason and Tim still elicit memories of the Blackstar sessions and do you believe that the project has been enough to galvanise the band for many years to come?

‘Yes, we just finished a week at the Vanguard with Donny’s band. It actually wasn’t Tim playing bass this week (schedules didn’t allow for that to happen) so we had Nate Wood playing bass. But yes, anytime we get together as Donny’s group our Blackstar experience is in kind of, ‘in the air’. I think it’s really always with us, even individually, but it’s certainly magnified when we get together. We don’t need to be playing that music specifically, or even be talking about it amongst ourselves, but there’s a certain energy and spirit that’s in the air.’

Your collaboration with David has proven to be a gift that keeps on giving, both creatively and tangibly. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your decision to majestically rework his composition Where Are We Now? at the end of Jersey and also the beautiful commemorative plaque you recently received in relation to the Blackstar LP?

‘Jersey was the first record under my name to come out after David’s passing and it was very important to me to pay tribute to him. It’s really just to say thank you. I wanted to do it in a way that was quite different from the sound of Blackstar, so the jazz quartet was a really nice, acoustic environment. I just loved that song – we played it as more of a ballad than it appears on The Next Day and it just felt right to have it conclude the record. So again, more than anything else, it was a thank you note to him for the incredible experience of getting to work with him.’

Read the rest of the interview here