Billboard reached out to the quartet that worked alongside Bowie on what would be his final project -- the same quartet he first heard at 55 Bar: saxophonist Donny McCaslin, keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Mark Guiliana.
"I’m deeply saddened, stunned, mystified and completely awed by the power of David Bowie's creativity and determination to produce all he did in the single year I've known him," Lindner told Billboard in a statement. "It’s humbling to have been invited to share in the process leading to Blackstar, and to witness his brilliance and benevolence."
Lefebvre, who is currently on tour with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, added that Bowie "was a lovely human being, deeply erudite and caring, and absolutely one of the funniest people I've ever met." The bassist told Billboard that it was "a joy to be in his presence, and create some music."
David Bowie's Final Album 'Blackstar' & 'Lazarus' Video Were Goodbye Notes
"Thank you from the bottom of my humble heart for letting me into your life," Guiliana said, "and in doing so changing mine. It was an absolute honor to create with you. I am forever grateful."
Finally McCaslin, the quartet's leader, told Billboard, "I am so deeply saddened by today’s news. Working with David Bowie on Blackstar was a life-changing experience for me, and a gift beyond measure.
"David was fully present and engaged in the creative process from the moment he entered the studio until he left," the saxophonist added. "He was always gracious, generous, and funny. I will always be inspired by him, am grateful to have known him, and am holding his family and friends in my heart."