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Recommended Tools

by Donny McCaslin

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    6-panel digipak designed by Jennifer Boyd.

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Eventual 09:14
Excursion 04:09
Isfahan 05:18
The Champion 05:39
3 Signs 06:48
Fast Brazil 06:44


Recommended Tools is the seventh album from saxophonist Donny McCaslin and the first for Greenleaf Music. The record features McCaslin working in a trio setting for the first time. With bassist Hans Glawischig (Ray Barretto, Stefon Harris, Miguel Zenon) and drummer Johnathan Blake (Mingus Big Band, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker), McCaslin has made this highly emotive format a vehicle for his virtuosic blowing and distinct compositional voice.

Trenched in free-flowing arrangements with dynamic interplay between the band, this work harkens back to the classic trio recordings of Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson. And while a classic format, McCaslin retains his modernity and inventiveness citing Bill Frisell, Hermeto Pascal, Stravinsky and Messiaen as inspiration for these compositions. Stand-out tracks include burners “Recommended Tools,” “Excursion,” “The Champion,” and ballad, “Late Night Gospel.”


released August 19, 2008

Donny McCaslin, tenor saxophone
Hans Glawischnig, bass
Johnathan Blake, drums

Recorded live to 2 track by Mike Marciano
Recorded at Systems Two in Brooklyn, NY on February 27-28, 2008

All songs composed by Donny McCaslin, McCaslin Music (BMI)
Except "Isfahan," which is composed by Billy Strayhorn.

Produced by David Binney
Executive Producer: Dave Douglas
Design: Jennifer Boyd | Brij Design

Sheet music is available for eight McCaslin originals on this album. Purchase lead sheets as PDFs here:


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Donny McCaslin New York, New York

As the bandleader on David Bowie's final album Blackstar, saxophonist Donny McCaslin collaborated with the Starman to carry forward his penchant for reinvention. With his upcoming studio album 'Blow.' — a daring fusion of vibrant electronica, and bombastic art-rock due this fall — McCaslin applied that mindset to his own work, pushing his music in a bold new direction. ... more


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