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The Bowie Project on Origin Records

For Your Consideration


Best Vocal Album

Paul Marinaro


Unlike The Great American Song book, Bowie's lyrics tend to be less generalized, more oblique, and far more specific to personal journeys. As we explored Bowie's songs, the bold and stylish world of his writing revealed itself - the varying  palette of colors and rhythms, the keen wit, depth and poignance, the word painting. 


It was of the utmost importance to me not to imitate or channel Bowie into these interpretations, but to find my own voice with these stories and within my own relationship to them. Once stripped away from Bowie the performer and instead focusing on Bowie the writer, like all good songs,  these were human stories with richly developed themes. 


Upon hearing the vastly different treatments from each of our great arrangers, I was able to live inside this wonderful material, free to tell my own story with his words. 

Space Oddity

00:00 / 05:10

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - The Bowie Project

"Re-interpreting the songs of David Bowie was an exhilarating, fascinating and richly rewarding journey."

Best Jazz Performance - Changes

"Each arrangement on The Bowie Project was crafted with the intent to honor Bowie's legacy and create something new that stands on its own."
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Musician, Arranger & Producer

Jim Gailloreto


00:00 / 05:44

Working on David Bowie's iconic 'Changes' (Hunky Dory, 1971) required careful consideration and a hefty amount of bravery.  With the reinterpretation of venerated music, the line between success and parody-latent failure can be razor thin.  Thankfully, our vision was brought into focus through the guidance of an amazing creative team.  


Our featured vocalist Paul Marinaro's understanding of David Bowie's history and lyric, along with the contributions of arrangers, engineers and MJO players, offered a balance and richness of artistic perspective.


It was also important to give the band its own voice. "Changes," like many album tracks, features both ensemble and soloists that recast the original repertoire.

Best Performance

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals - Quicksand

"I am equal parts proud and grateful to be a part of "The Bowie Project" team."
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Musician & Arranger

Ben Lewis

Providing a treatment for "Quicksand" presented a tremendous opportunity to pay homage to a brilliant artist while elevating the profound, mysterious message of his song. 


Elements of fear, of warning and of destiny in the lyrics lent themselves to a fascinating harmonic palette with which to play.


There exists such a symbiotic connection between the words, harmony and rhythm of a song, and imbued in that canvas is the spirit of David Bowie.

I sought to merge his ideas with mine, give a deeper sense of urgency to the song, and provide a strong foundation for Paul’s incredible vocal.


00:00 / 05:25
Best Arrangement (Ben Lewis)
Best Arrangement (Kornegay)

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals - Quicksand

"Working on "Quicksand" pushed me into uncharted territory and inspired me to take chances and uncover music I might not have otherwise discovered."
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John Kornegay

Musician, Arranger & Producer

I was instantly intrigued by Ben Lewis’ choice of expressive chords and the detail in his treatment of Quicksand. These were not chords Bowie himself used, but the richness of his reharmonization opened up numerous ideas and pathways for rhythmic movement and counterpoint which help convey Bowie’s message. 


As to Bowie’s lyric - while the existential nature and veiled references seemed obscure, discussions with our vocalist Paul Marinaro brought these to light and revealed the protagonist’s tug-of-war between what we’ve been told and what we “can’t” know. I’ve tried to reinforce this ongoing tension/resolution in the orchestration by contrasting strident harmonies with simple chords, sudden rhythmic punctuations and dynamic contrasts.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with all my distinguished colleagues on this project.


00:00 / 05:25
Best Engineered Album

Best Engineered Album - The Bowie Project

"Mixing The Bowie Project by the Metropolitan Jazz Octet with Paul Marinaro was a particularly gratifying experience."

John McCortney

Audio Engineer

Working on this album, I re-discovered some of my favorite Bowie songs and introduced to several more. Paul Marinaro's vocals gave me new insight into the emotional depth of Bowie's lyrics.


I enjoyed working closely with the arrangers, Jim Gailloreto and John Kornegay, finding new subtleties each time pressing “play”.  A three person mix can devolve into decision by committee but we worked together as a collaboration, trading insights from the arrangers' perspectives and my own, refining the mix to be a conduit for the music.


David Bowie's music clearly thrives with these new interpretations and I hope you find that the mixes serve the music well.

Conversation Piece   

00:00 / 05:09

Best Album Notes - The Bowie Project

"I’ve avidly followed the parallel paths taken in recent years by the Metropolitan Jazz Octet and of Paul Marinaro. To see them converge here just heightens the pleasure."
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Neil Tesser

Jazz Writer

When I first heard Paul Marinaro cover a couple of songs by David Bowie, I was ...  intrigued. And impressed. It takes a certain audacity, combined with a deep passion, to tackle the work of an artist as iconic, idiosyncratic, and slippery as Bowie. But when Paul and Jim Gailloreto floated the idea of an entire album recasting this repertoire — and backing it with a most un-Bowie jazz octet — I held my breath. 

I needn’t have done so. The more I listened, the greater my satisfaction, not only with the performances, but also for the way they reiterate a vital lesson. In order to interpret a unique force such as Bowie, imitation is fruitless; the only way to capture another artist’s insights is by applying one’s own. And beyond that, the experience taught me more about the durability of Bowie’s music than I would have imagined. I remain excited by The Bowie Project and by the opportunity to have contributed to it.

Best Albm Notes
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