Friday, 24 July 2009

Teo Macero - Time Plus Seven

T.C.'s Groove

Time Plus Seven

256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Finnadar SR 9024

Teo Macero is a name to which most readers of this blog should need no introduction: producer of landmark works such as Miles' Kind of Blue, Mingus' Mingus Ah Um , Monk's Monk's Dream and Brubeck's Time Out as well as one of the earliest, and most recognisable, proponents of Third Stream music. This historical document captures him while still a rising star and since gallons of ink have already been put to paper when it comes to this album, I'll leave you with a small sampling of same...

For starter's, here's what Dr. Progresso has to say in his excellent review of The Best of Teo Macero (the middle paragraph is transcribed from the liner notes on the back cover):
In 1978 Macero began work on his second (!) album, released in 1979 on Finnadar, a subsidiary of Atlantic/WEA. TIME PLUS SEVEN (SR 9024) did not represent any new recordings by Macero, but released for the first first time his 1963 recording of the title suite, "Seven," "Equals," "Time," and "Plus."

"This composition was commissioned by the Rebecca Harkness Dance Company, then directed by Robert Joffrey. 'Time Plus Seven' was choreographed by Anna Sokolow in 1963. ... Anyway, here it is, World Premiere 'Time Plus Seven' recorded at CBS's 30th Street Studio in New York, 1963. Fred Plaut was the engineer. I was the conductor. I wish I could find the contract which listed the personnel, but can't. To the great musicians who recorded this composition, my apology for not listing them and my everlasting gratitude for giving me a great performance."

The piece is starkly atonal, and not unlike the much shorter "Pressure," written for Orchestra U.S.A two years later. Thus it is hardly coincidental that side one of this LP is finished off with that recording of "Pressure." Side two of this LP reissues Macero's side one of WHAT'S NEW?, bringing it back into print on LP after fourteen years.

AMG Review by Ken Dryden
Teo Macero is likely to be known to the average jazz fan for his work as a producer of others' records, though he is also a composer, tenor saxophonist and conductor. This compilation LP released by Finnadar in 1978 collects music from three separate sessions. "Time Plus Seven" was a commissioned ballet and clearly falls into Third Stream music, though the delay added to the saxophones comes across a bit lame. Sadly, none of the personnel are confirmed due to the loss of the record contracts, though Clark Terry seems likely as the trumpeter in "Time."

The work "Pressure," which first appeared on the John Lewis' Orchestra U.S.A. release Sonorities, is an atonal work that sounds like music for an overblown mystery. Of more interest are the advanced compositions from a 1955 session, especially "Neally" and "T.C.'s Groove," which mix jazz soloists like Art Farmer, Eddie Bert and John LaPorta with the bizarre but catchy accordion of Orlando Digirolamo. Ernestine Anderson provides the overdubbed voices in "Sounds of May," though the tape has been manipulated to make it sound like a male chorus. This LP quickly disappeared from print, though all of this music was reissued on the Stash CD The Best of Teo Macero, which is also no longer available.

Dusty Groove Review
Some wonderful slices of 50s modern jazz -- work recorded under the leadership of Teo Macero, who was best known as a producer for Columbia during their glory days in the jazz business, but who was also a budding young genius in the years before then! The set features a handful of tracks from Teo's early What's New album for Columbia, plus a track from an Orchestra USA session, along with the side-long, previously-unreleased "Time Plus Seven", an extended jazz ballet suite. Macero's approach is a blend here of both third stream styles and some of the New York whimsy of players like Gil Melle at the same time -- and titles include "Pressure", "Neally", "Adventure", "TC's Groove", and "Sounds Of May".

Finnadar was founded by Atlantic records engineer/producer Ilhan Mimaroglu as an outlet for his left-field leaning proclivities, with an emphasis on the burgeoning electronica movement of the era. Here's a very interesting interview with him
recorded on October 10, 1975 that covers the label's inception (courtesy of the Internet Archive).

Teo Macero - Tenor Sax (3,4,5,6,7,8)
George Barrow - Baritone Sax (3,4,7)
Eddie Bert - Trombone (3,4,7)
Don Butterfield - Tuba (3,4,7)
Art Farmer - Trumpet (3,4,7)
John LaPorta - Clarinet, Alto Sax (3,4,5,6,7,8)
Orlando DiGirolamo - Accordion (3,4,5,6,7,8)
Wendell Marshall - Bass (3,4,5,6,7,8)
Ed Shaughnessy - Drums (3,4,5,6,7,8)
Mal Waldron - Piano (6,8)
Ernestine Anderson - Vocals (8)
Orchestra U.S.A. (2)

1 Time Plus Seven: Seven/Equals/Time/Plus
2 Pressure
3 Neally
4 Adventure
5 Heart on My Sleeve
6 24+ 18+
7 T.C.'s Groove
8 Sounds of May

Take the time to add it up with Soundological HERE or HERE.


ushaped said...

This is a great record and very avant garde. Everyone should grab it!

Sun Zoo said...

Grabbing now. Thanks to Cheeba for making this available. I haven't heard any of Teo's own material up to now but look forward to listening...again thanks for your efforts.


Anonymous said...

just wanted to say that your taste in music is nice. i like this blog

Anonymous said...

Brilliant cover art.

cheeba said...

@ushaped, I agree! You'd think a big name producer like Teo would get more attention for his own work, even if it is from his early years. Definitely a must for anyone interested in Third Stream and the history of avant garde jazz.

@Sun Zoo, hope you enjoy the Macero and thanks for dropping by!

Simon666 said...

Wonderful textures, thanks Cheeba !

Slidewell said...

Very interesting! Looking forward to hearing this one! Thanks for posting!

Michael A. Gonzales said...

I met Teo a few years before his death, and he was very cool. Thanks for this...