Electric Miles 2 – Charles Pillow Large Ensemble

Electric Miles 2 – Charles Pillow Large Ensemble

Label: MAMA Records

Release date: Oct 2023

Catalog number: M1061


It's About That Time
comp: Miles Davis/Joe Zawinul
Rated X
comp: Miles Davis
comp: Miles Davis
Great Expectations
comp: Miles Davis
comp: Miles Davis
comp: Miles Davis
Willie Nelson
comp: Miles Davis

The follow-up to Pillow’s critically acclaimed 2018 release contains an added section of French Horns to bring different colors to yet more relatively unknown 70’s era Miles’ music. The band features soloists from a who’s who of NYC musicians including tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene, trombonist Alan Ferber and trumpeters Scott Wendholt, Tim Hagans and Clay Jenkins as well as a stellar rhythm section.  As in the previous release, “Electric Miles”, this set of music comes from a particular period in Miles’ oeuvre; 1969-75. Some of these titles were represented merely as bass lines, and Miles would, in live performance, segue from one to the next by musical gestures from his trumpet. The band would follow him this way. His music from 1972 forward became somewhat chaotic, yet focused on energy and intense playing from the band. Players such as Chick Corea, Steve Grossman, Mtume, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Billy Hart, Dave Liebman, and many others were the driving force behind this mostly mis-understood music that helped usher in a new direction in jazz.

Charles Pillow: arranger, alto/soprano sax, flute; Alexa Tarrantino: alto/soprano sax flute; Jimmy Greene: tenor sax; Michael Thomas: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Dave Rieckenberg: bass clarinet, baritone sax

TROMBONES: Michael Davis, Alan Ferber, Nick Grinder, Jeff Nelson

FRENCH HORNS: Kyle Hoyt, Judy Lee, Eric Davis

TRUMPETS: Tony Kadleck, Jim Hynes, Frank Greene, Scott Wendholt, Clay Jenkins, Tim Hagans

SOLOISTS: Scott Wendholt, Tim Hagans, Clay Jenkins

KEYBOARDS: Henry Hey, Mike Holober

GUITAR: Pete McCann

BASS: Ugonna Okegwo, Chuck Bergeron

DRUMS: Jared Schonig

Charles Pillow comes from Baton Rouge, LA. After college at Loyola University, he pursued his Masters Degree in Jazz Studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, NY. Since moving to NYC in 1987, he has appeared on over 100 recordings of jazz, pop luminaries such as Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, Jay Z, Luther Vandross, Paul Simon, Michael Brecker, Bruce Springsteen, John Scofield, Tom Harrell, Dave Liebman, David Sanborn, to name a few.


Saxophonist, bandleader and arranger Charles Pillow, together with his Large Ensemble, has recently released a follow up to their “Electric Miles” album of 2018, this time “Electric Miles 2”.  Once again he has put together some extraordinary charts of music by Miles Davis (and others associated with Miles’ music) for a modern jazz orchestra.  On this new release, my personal favorite Miles album (“In a Silent Way”) is well represented with 2 tracks originally on that album (one co-written with Joe Zawinul).  Miles Davis penned tracks from “Agharta”, Big Fun” and “Get Up With It” are also included on the new album.  Featuring a literal “Who’s Who” of great players in the Ensemble, the performances on this album, along with the mix and mastering, are superb.  If you’re a fan like me of Miles Davis from his jazz-rock and jazz-funk electric era – this album is a must for your collection”.

-Dr. Brad Stone, “The Creative Source”, SoulandJazz.com