Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Originally from Roanoke, Virginia and grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Charles' latest projects on Artistshare, the reworkings of Modeste Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Gustav Holsts' The Planets are examples of his fusion of different musical elements and blending them into music for our time. I thought with all the instruments that I play, I could create a much more varied tonal palette and venture into different worlds of expression. So we go anywhere from rock to balkan to beats to 21st century classical in one breath, a virtual 'symphony of sound'.
He has appeared on over 75 CD's including those of Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, Jay Z, Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, Joe Henderson, Bob Mintzer, Bob Belden, Maria Schneider, John Fedchock, Maria Carey, Kevin Mahogany, Queen Latifah, John Scofield, Gladys Knight, Nellie McKay, Michel Buble, and Chaka Khan.
He has worked with legendary producers Phil Ramone and Arif Mardin and performed with Christine Aguilera, Marc Anthonly, Winona Judd, Blood, Sweat, and Tears and Michael Jackson, Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, The Long Island Philharmonic, and The New Orleans Symphony.
In additon to his saxophone, flute and clarinet playing, he has distinguished himself as one of the premier jazz oboists with his recordings, Currents, In this World, Pictures at an Exhibition, and his latest release on Artistshare.com, The Planets. He has appeared on 3 Grammy winning releases: Michael Breckers Wide Angles, Maria Schneiders' Concert in the Garden and Joe Hendersons' Big Band.
His two books, Woodwind Doubling: the saxophonist guide to playing flute, clarinet and oboe and, Jazz Playing for Oboe Music Minus One are also available through Artistshare.com as well as a series of etudes for junior high and high school students called, Jazz Etudes on the Great Jazz Standards for Bb and Eb saxophone, flute and clarinet.
Pillow has fashioned something genuinely new and ravishingly beautfiul. He has remarkable command of oboe, soprano sax, bass clarinet and penny whistle. He practically achieves musical nirvana. Simply one of the best releases of this or any other year. (In This World) ---amazon.com
His poise and sense of solo construction are indications of exceptional musicianship. ---Jazz Times
He has an ear for original melodies and sophisticated harmonies, as well as terrifc playing on tenor and soprano saxes and oboe. ---Paul DeBarros, Seattle Times
Curents is a showcase for his formidable compositional and improvisational talents. ---Modern Drummer
Impressive oboe playing ---Herb Wong
Soundscape, Ethereal, Impressionistic...Pillow is as versatile as anyone recording today. Four stars. ---Don Williamson