Saxophonist Donny McCaslin, born 1966 in California, has been experimenting with the most different sound regions with verve for years, uniting forceful jazz with suggestive, electronic sounds. It all started on a rather classical note: his father was a vibraphonist and, at the age of 12, Donny McCaslin went on a tour with his band; he took saxophone lessons in San Francisco and studied at the Berklee College of Music. Further milestones: he worked with the Gil Evans Orchestra, collaborated with Danilo Pérez, Florian Weber and played in composer Maria Schneider’s band. What also played a role was that McCaslin, besides being a recognised instrumentalist, became a pop star overnight and is famous beyond the jazz scene. When David Bowie was looking for a band for “Blackstar”, Maria Schneider recommend McCaslin’s quartet. Bowie’s last record’s elegiac, jazz-affine sound carries the signature of McCaslin and his colleagues Mark Guiliana (dr), Jason Lindner (keys) and Tim Lefebvre (b) who, by the way, was also a member of the Michael Wollny trio for a while. “Beyond Now”, the quartet’s latest album, reflects their engagement with Bowie and is simultaneously a touching homage. McCaslin explains that working with the icon created a new intimacy and brought the group to a deeper level of expression, which can clearly be sensed and heard on “Beyond Now”.