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Every week on the air there's a special focus on one particular jazz album. Check them all out here!

Jazz Album of the Week: Charles Pillow Delivers A Big Band Homage to Miles Davis

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August 13, 2018. The title Electric Miles suggests you’ll hear instruments plugged into outlets. But when saxophonist, flutist and arranger Charles Pillow wrote the charts for his Electric Miles album, he only allowed for some electric piano and electric bass.  The rest of the magic comes from the force of his large ensemble. Batteries not included.Pillow realized that the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’ release of his seminal Kind of Blue on August 17, 1959 was approaching, and he wanted to commemorate it in a big way.  

Pillow chose pieces composed by Davis, along with music by Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, with whom Miles often collaborated during the inception period of jazz-fusion (1969-1972).  

This album plays like a film score. The band is super tight.  The players are fantastic. And the arrangements make the components shine.  

"Spanish Key” sounds enormous with so many horns behind it. In “Bitches Brew,” Julian Garvue's electric piano really stands out and enhances the enchantment of the tune.

In addition to leading and arranging this project, Charles Pillow also plays and conducts.  NEA Jazz Master David Liebman is the special guest saxophonist, who only adds more spark.  

Electric Miles is an homage to innovation that accomplishes its goal to such a high degree—it’s almost totally off the grid.

 

Maureen began her radio career at WRTI in 1999 while studying broadcasting at Temple University. Determined to make it in the entertainment industry, she took advantage of all the creative opportunities presented to her at WRTI - she hosted the overnight jazz broadcasts through her entire college career, she was an arts and culture reporter, and she soaked up the jazz biz from her many WRTI mentors.