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Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

1

Radio & Podcasts

Make It Big!

Read "Make It Big!" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


The boys might not be the most ambitious podcasters on the planet, but sometimes even they think big. This fortnight's excursion is all about large and extra-large ensembles, from a band trying something new in the mid-fifties to a tribute group wrestling with the music of one of jazz's greatest composers to three -count 'em--brand new albums with fifteen or more musicians digging in. After that extra-long discussion of plus-size organizations, just a little time remains to discuss Pat's favorite ...

4

Album Review

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles

Read "Electric Miles" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


The electric music Miles Davis recorded from 1969 and into the 1970s was a game-changing event in jazz, a steamy, mysterious, ever-evolving soup of improvisation, rock, funk and electronics that launched numerous careers and inspired subsequent generations of musicians across genres. Its influence shows in the numbers of players who have since studied, dissected and interpreted this material in their own ways. Alto saxophonist Charles Pillow has adapted Davis' work for a full-scale big band but with mixed results.

3

Album Review

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles

Read "Electric Miles" reviewed by Jack Bowers


So how does trumpeter Miles Davis' post-1969 “electric period" translate to a big-band format? About as well as could be expected, thanks to leader Charles Pillow's bright arrangements for his New York-based Large Ensemble. Davis' seminal Columbia albums from 1969-1972--In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Live at Fillmore East, Live-Evil, On the Corner--are considered by many to have ushered in the jazz / rock / fusion era, which could be a good thing or otherwise, depending on one's point of ...

7

Album Review

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles

Read "Electric Miles" reviewed by Mark Corroto


You thought not, but you can put the genie back in the bottle. What we're talking about is the specter unleashed by Miles Davis with Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970). Davis' expanded lineup for BB with ten-plus musicians, including the electric pianos of Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, and Larry Young, Bennie Maupin playing bass clarinet, a young guitarist John McLaughlin, two bassists, percussion, and more percussion, and oh yeah, Wayne Shorter's saxophone was ever present. Charles Pillow did that with his ...

6

Album Review

Triocity: I Believe In You

Read "I Believe In You" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Here's a formula we've all seen before: take three musicians and let them loose on a program of standards and Great American Songbook chestnuts. It sounds all too simple and pedestrian, right? Guess again. When you're talking about the combined creative forces of multi-reedist Charles Pillow, bassist Jeff Campbell, and drummer Rich Thompson, the potential of said endeavor changes drastically. The whole is most certainly greater than the sum of its parts when those musicians come together as Triocity, and ...

336

Album Review

Charles Pillow: Van Gogh Letters

Read "Van Gogh Letters" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Those who like Debussy's Nocturnes will love what this trio does on the crossover Van Gogh Letters. Three master musicians venture into saxophonist Charles Pillow's softly articulated, impressionistic/minimalist tone poems. Inspired by Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, Pillow translates the great artist's phrases and sentences into painterly sounds evocative of a quieter, less-pressured epoch. The trio embarks on a journey through the varied places and moods that the gentle, saintly, and troubled Van Gogh saw and painted with intense beauty ...

730

Interview

Charles Pillow: Sound Crafter

Read "Charles Pillow: Sound Crafter" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Charles Pillow is a musician's musician who works with diverse ensembles from jazz to pops to classical, small group to large ensemble, straight-ahead to avant-garde. He grew up in Baton Rouge, La., and studied music at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, before eventually settling in the New York City area as a working professional.He has worked with groups, vocalists, and leaders as varied as Dave Liebman, Michael Brecker, Jay Z, Broadway pit orchestras, Mariah Carey and ...


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