Friday, February 22, 2008

RIP - Teo Macero

Teo Macero, the legendary producer who worked with Miles Davis on much of his "fusion" material, has died at 82.

I'll be honest - I really don't pay attention to who produces jazz albums, because most of the time, I feel the jazz I really like (generally more avant-garde and free-improvisation) is far more a creation of the artist than the producer. But Teo Macero is the exception. I know his name because of his work with Miles Davis. While Macero had worked with Davis since the early 60s, the stuff I absolutely love is his work with Miles on In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, Live-Evil, and On the Corner. Those albums are as much Macero's creations as they are Davis's, in the way Macero took extended sessions and edited them, molded them, and turned them into coherent albums that lost none of the energy or beauty of the extended sessions. Just one listen to any of the box sets of the complete sessions of Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, or On the Corner reveals just how important Macero's work as a producer was with Davis.

Macero worked with other greats (Mingus, Monk, Brubeck, Ellington, and Fitzgerald), but to me, his work alone with Miles would have been enough to leave a lasting mark. His passing is an enormous loss to the music world, and I encourage anybody and everybody to listen to a little Miles tonight and reflect on the value, invention, and beauty of Teo Macero's production.