Charles Pillow Large Ensemble, Electric Miles (Mama Records)
Whatever the title Electric Miles might lead you to expect, chances are that it wouldn’t be an album of non-electric big band music. A Louisiana alto saxophonist long since ensconced in New York, with skill and imagination Pillow arranges eight of the pieces with which Miles Davis surprised—even shocked—the jazz establishment in one of the trumpeter’s many influential next steps following the last phase in which he led a conventional quintet. The Bitches Brew album opened a new path for Davis and, to a considerable extent, for jazz. Pillow includes “Bitches Brew,” as well as “Sanctuary,” “In A Silent Way” and five other pieces from Davis’s electronic ventures. His writing for 16 pieces is alternately peaceful and stirring. In addition to his own soprano and alto solos, Pillow showcases trumpeters Tim Hagans and Clay Jenkins and, on “Black Satin,” David Liebman on soprano sax.