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Teo Macero, Record Producer for Miles and Others, Dies at 82

Teo Macero, who produced many landmark albums for Miles Davis (with whom he is pictured here), such as Kind of Blue, Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way, died Feb. 19 at his home in Riverhead, New York. He was 82 and succumbed following a long illness.

Macero, who was also a saxophonist and composer, was hired by Columbia Records in 1957 and became a staff producer two years later. There he worked not only with Davis but with artists such as Dave Brubeck (Macero produced the best-selling album Time Out), Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Mose Allison, Johnny Mathis, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Carmen McRae, Woody Herman, Tony Bennett and many others, in addition to recording under his own name.

He was born Attilio Joseph Macero and, after a stint in the Navy, he attended the Juilliard School of Music. In 1953 Macero began working with Charles Mingus’ Jazz Composers Workshop as saxophonist, recording for Debut Records on the band’s eponymous album the following year. Macero also recorded in the classical genre during this period.

But producing jazz turned out to be his true calling. He became one of the most valuable assets to the Columbia staff and remained there into the mid-’70s, also producing film soundtracks, Broadway cast albums and some pop. After leaving Columbia he continued to produce artists as diverse as the soul-rock singer Robert Palmer and the downtown New York avant-gardists the Lounge Lizards.

Originally Published