Teo Macero is a composer and music producer known primarily for his record production work for Columbia and CBS (now Sony) records from 1959 to 1975, and subsequently for his own company, M. Productions. The heart of the collection is Columbia Records office correspondence and recording studio paperwork documenting the careers and recording projects of the musicians recorded by Macero. Other materials in the collection include photographs and music scores, including many of Macero's compositions.
Biographical/historical: Teo (Attilio Joseph) Macero (b Glen Falls, NY, 30 Oct. 1925) was a composer and saxophonist from a young age. He entered the Juilliard School in 1948, where he studied composition with Henry Brant, and graduated with a BS and an MS in 1953; he also won the BMI Student Composer's Award. Macero co-founded the Jazz Composers' Workshop with Charles Mingus the same year and performed and recorded with Mingus through 1956. He also worked with the vibraphonist Teddy Charles and recorded three of his own albums in the mid-1950s. At the same time, Macero was active as a composer, writing in an atonal style, as well as in the "third stream" concept pioneered by Mingus and Gunther Schuller. Through his career, his compositions have included works for film, television, ballets, and orchestras. He won two Guggenheim fellowships (in 1953 and 1954), as well as a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1974.
In 1956, Columbia Records producer George Avakian hired Macero as a tape editor. Following the departure of Avakian from the label in 1958, and the transfer of producer Irving Townsend to the west coast in 1959, Macero became the label's main producer of jazz and commercial music. His most important clients at Columbia were Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus (Macero signed the latter two to the label). He is perhaps most famous for his longterm working relationship with Davis, which stretched from 1959 to 1983. Macero also produced about a dozen other important jazz artists during his Columbia tenure, as well as the New York Philharmonic conductor Andre Kostelanetz, and he oversaw many special projects for the label, including soundtracks for several Broadway musicals.
Macero left Columbia/CBS in 1975 and established his own company, M. Productions, where he continues to produce his own and other artists' music on his Teorecords label.
Cope, David: "Macero, Teo [Attilio Joseph]", Grove Music Online. ed. L. Macy (Accessed 14 September, 2004), http://www.grovemusic.com
Gardner, Mark: "Macero, Teo [Attilio Joseph]", Grove Music Online. ed. L. Macy (Accessed 14 September, 2004), http://www.grovemusic.com
Kahn, Ashley. Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece. New York: Da Capo Press, 2000.
Content: The Teo Macero Collection consists of 57.5 linear feet of material dating from 1949 to 1992. The heart of the collection is paperwork and photographs documenting the recording production work of Teo Macero (and occasionally other producers) at Columbia/CBS Records from 1958 to 1975, and the activities of the recording artists that he produced. Although most of the papers came from Macero's office, some material originated in the office of producer Irving Townsend, in particular the Duke Ellington and some of the Miles Davis material. Scores comprise about 30 linear feet of the collection and consist mostly of classical and commercial arrangements used on Andre Kostelanetz recordings from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, but also include some of Macero's own compositions dating from his Juilliard days (early 1950s) to the early 1990s. The collection most thoroughly documents the careers of Andre Kostelanetz, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Byrd. Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, Stan Getz, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, J.J. Johnson, Ramsey Lewis, Charles Mingus and Jimmy Rushing receive lesser but still significant coverage. Many other musicians have more limited documentation.