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
Changes   5:44
Letter to Hermione   5:32
Space Oddity  5:10
Let's Dance   6:17
Stay   5:01
Quicksand   5:09
I Would Be Your Slave   5:32
10 Conversation Piece   5:26      
11 Life on Mars?   6:49

All songs 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 through 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)

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 ...

Jazz Sensibilities (Jeff Becker)
When legends from disparate realms converge, the outcome is either a harmonious melding or a discordant mismatch. Metropolitan Jazz Octet's (MJO) The Bowie Project, under the spellbinding vocals of Paul Marinaro, ventures into a daunting territory: fusing the rock genius of David Bowie with the intricate rhythms of chamber jazz. The outcome is an e ...

5 Finger Review (Darnell Jackson)
In a daring blend of jazz artistry and rock spirit, the Metropolitan Jazz Octet (MJO) and vocalist Paul Marinaro released The Bowie Project on January 16, 2023, on Origin Records. Beyond merely grafting jazz onto the bones of Bowie's oeuvre, the songs on the project span genres, eras, and reactions. The roots of MJO date back to the golden age o ...

CD Hotlist (Rick Anderson)
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Lester Bowie, so I picked this one up with eagerness — only to discover that it's actually a jazz tribute to David Bowie. Well, no worries, I'm also a big David Bowie fan, so I cued the disc up with only slight trepidation. "Slow Burn" and "5:15 the Angels Have Gone" both adapted themselves nicely to th ...





  • Origin Records
    8649 Island Drive South
    Seattle, WA 98118
    ph: (206) 781-2589
    fx: (206) 374-2618
  • Email / Order Info / Etc