Bowie collaborator describes ‘joy’ on singer’s face when they first listened to ‘Blackstar’

Saxophonist Donny McCaslin recalls listening party for Bowie's final album

David Bowie collaborator Donny McCaslin has recalled listening to the late music icon’s final album ‘Blackstar’ with the man himself.

The saxophonist worked with Bowie on the album, which was released in January 2016, just two days before his passing.

Speaking to Billboard, McCaslin described listening to the album at Bowie’s lower Manhattan home in November 2015.


“I told him how much I loved the record and how beautiful it was to me to hear it …. and just what a brilliant piece of art it is. And he was so happy that I was happy,” McCaslin said. “The joy on his face was beautiful.”

McCaslin also said that the pair shared a hug upon hearing the album and that it was the last time he saw Bowie.

Bowie and ‘Blackstar’ are up for multiple awards at this weekend’s Grammys. “I wish David was here to see all the love and appreciation for the record,” McCaslin, who plans to attend the Grammys, says. “It’s been a privilege for me to meet so many of his fans this past year who love the record and whose lives he touched deeply with his art. I know for all of us in the band working with him was a transformative experience that we’ll carry with us the rest of our lives.”

Meanwhile, Bowie‘s ‘No Plan’ EP is set to be released on vinyl later this year.The EP was released digitally last month on January 8 – Bowie’s birthday – and features recordings from Bowie’s final ever recording sessions.

The physical release of ‘No Plan’ EP has now been detailed, with CD versions set to hit stores on February 24 before the standard vinyl is released on April 21.


A special edition vinyl, however, will follow a month later on May 26 – the limited edition, dye-cut version will also come with an accompanying lithograph. Artwork for the vinyl editions, meanwhile, has been designed by frequent Bowie collaborator Jonathan Barnbrook.