David Bowie celebrated turning 69 today by releasing his 28th studio album Blackstar. The album sees the music legend collaborate with a jazz combo he met in a bar in New York's West Village, all under the watchful idea of longtime producer Tony Visconti.

david bowieDavid Bowie released his 28th studio album today .

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, jazz musician Donny McCaslin, who plays saxophone on the album, explained the creative process while making the record: “We’ve spent a lot of time together, and we improvise a lot together.”

“That cohesion was in place when we got to the studio, and David fit right into it. It was really a band atmosphere. His approach when we got into the studio was very open and very collaborative. He said, ‘I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but let’s have fun and see where it goes.’ He’s a guy who could do anything at this point. I didn’t notice him reaching back. I just felt like he’s pushing to do something new.” 

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Longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti also revealed that the 69-year-old drew inspiration from rapper Kendrick Lamar when writing Blackstar. "We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar,” Visconti said.

"We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn't do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll.”

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The album has received universal acclaim from critics, who have praised Bowie for still taking risks so late in his career. The New York Post wrote that Blackstar, ‘is not the kind of record that serves up anything close to a hit, or even a hook — but it shows the pioneering Brit is still seeking out new ground.’

While USA Today gave the album four out of four stars calling it ‘an unqualified triumph’ and adding, ‘Texturally adventurous, sonically stunning and full of both ambivalence and yearning, it reveals a musician who has seldom acknowledged boundaries or courted accessibility in top form, with most accessible results.’

Read the Contactmusic review of 'Blackstar' here.