Metropolitan Jazz Octet

The Bowie Project

Origin 82864


iTunes - $9.99

When you can listen to the iconic 'Space Oddity' and hear it anew - without a trace of irony - you know this project has met its goal.
Neil Tesser

Chicago's Metropolitan Jazz Octet partners with the acclaimed vocalist Paul Marinaro to create an inspired tribute to the durability and pure magic of David Bowie's songwriting legacy. Reinterpreting without replicating, due in no small part to Marinaro's riveting vocals paired with creative arrangements, the octet palette reveals transparency and intimacy, coaxing nuanced colors more indicative of a larger orchestra, laying out an inventive complement to Bowie's lyrics. The MJO was originally founded in the '50s by saxophonist/arranger Tom Hilliard and documented first in 1959's The Legend of Bix on Argo Records. Its re-awakening in 2014 by Hilliard's former student, Jim Gailloreto, extends the rich legacy of Hilliard's library of compositions and devotion to this elegant chamber ensemble.

Track Listing:

1. Slow Burn  6:40
2. 5:15 The Angels Have Gone  7:32
3. Changes   5:44
4. Letter to Hermione   5:32
5. Space Oddity  5:10
6. Let's Dance   6:17
7. Stay   5:01
8. Quicksand   5:09
9. I Would Be Your Slave   5:32
10. Conversation Piece   5:26      
11. Life on Mars?   6:49

All tunes by David Bowie


Metropolitan Jazz Octet:
Paul Marinaro - Vocals
John Kornegay - Alto Sax/Clarinet/Alto Flute
Jim Gailloreto - Tenor Sax/Soprano Sax/Flute
Peter Brusen - Baritone Sax/Bass Clarinet/Bassoon
Doug Scharf - Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Russ Phillips - Trombone
Bob Sutter - Piano (1-3,5-7,10-11)
Ben Lewis - Piano (4,8,9)
Mike Freeman - Vibes (1,3,5-7,9-11), Marimba (11)
Doug Bistrow - Acoustic Bass
Bob Rummage - Drums/Percussion

Production Info:

Produced By Jim Gailloreto, John Kornegay & John McCortney
Recorded By John McCortney at AirWave Recording, Park Ridge IL 
and remote locations, 2020 thru 2022    
Mixed by John McCortney at AirWave Recording, Park Ridge IL
Mastered by Mat Lejeune at Chicago Recording Company, Chicago IL
Liner notes by Neil Tesser
Paul Marinaro photo by Frank Orrico
Cover Design & Layout by John Bishop

Reviews of The Bowie Project

Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
It could very well be, that like Joni Mitchell, David Bowie could be the source of material for jazz artists, if this recent album by the Metropolitan Jazz Octet is any evidence. The woodwind team of John Kornegay, Jim Gailloreto and Peter Brusen, along with Doug Scharf/tp-fh and Russ Phillips, mix with pianists Bob Sutter-Ben Lewis, vibist Mike Fr ...

Cirdec Songs (Cedric Hendrix)
Speaking of David Bowie, I'm digging on this little ditty from Origin Records. The The Metropolitan Jazz Octet has done a terrific job rearranging a collection of Bowie tunes from rock and pop to jazz. Vocalist Paul Marinaro sings in different ranges than the original tunes, giving them a nice, new flavor. What I love most is the band spends a d ...

Chicago Jazz Magazine (Jeff Cebulski)
Like so many others, I was bummed when the artistically mercurial David Bowie died seven years ago. While I was not too familiar with his expansive oeuvre, I had been attracted to many performances, especially from the 1980's on. His theatricality and attention to production were so professional that I could tolerate his varying personae in appreci ...

All About Jazz (Liner Notes) (Neil Tesser)
In the words of David Bowie: "Changes." The Metropolitan Jazz Octet's two previous albums teem with unadulterated jazz. Paul Marinaro is a hard-swinging, expressive baritone steeped in the Great American Songbook and the jazz tradition. So what in the galaxy are they doing with the music of pop legend—and onetime glam rocker, dancehall king, v ...

Cirdec Songs (Cedric Hendrix)
If you're gonna take on a legend, tread lightly. Particularly when you put forth genre-changing arrangements to classic songs. While David Bowie did use a jazz band led by Donny McCaslin to record Blackstar, the Metropolitan Jazz Octet take on 11 Bowie classics in full jazz form, and do so successfully. Vocalist Paul Marinaro soars passionately ove ...

Jazz Views (UK) (Chris Baber)
Having recently pondered the ways in which Bowie's music related to jazz, it was a pleasure to receive this CD to review. Immediately, you are struck by the mixture of songs that the octet has chosen. There are, of course, well known tunes such as ‘Changes' (track 3), ‘Let's dance' (track 6), ‘Life on Mars' (track 11), but also a host of trac ...

Wild Mercury Rhythm (C. Michael Bailey)
Like a melodic fragment, a foretelling leitmotif teasing with more to come, Chicago vocalist Paul Marinaro's recent Not Quite Yet (Myrtle Records, 2022) included two David Bowie compositions: "5:15 The Angels Have Gone" and "No Plan." Inclusion here pushed Marinaro's second studio recording over the top of a creative peak for the singer in prepara ...

All About Jazz (Paul Reynolds)
A tribute to a pop artist by jazz musicians—as with the new David Bowie album by Chicago's Metropolitan Jazz Octet—has to tread a careful line. It obviously won't—can't—be a rote reproduction of the originals, a flaw that sinks many pop-to-pop tributes. Yet it needs to translate the songs into jazz—its harmonic sophistication, especially� ...

Take Effect (Tom Haugen)
The Chicago ensemble Metropolitan Jazz Octet joins forces with the vocalist Paul Marinaro for this very well crafted listen that illuminates David Bowie's work with much creativity. The aptly titled "Slow Burn" opens the listen with the soulful, emotive brass meshing with Bob Stutter's warm keys and Rob Rummage's firm drums in the very dreamy cl ...





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