Teo Macero — Sounds of May
from What’s New? (1955)
The albums Teo Macero produced are probably better known than his own (Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, Kind of Blue; Dave Brubeck’s Time Out; Charles Mingus’ Mingus Ah Um). But a good part of his producing genius came from his compositional skills — especially when he’d take a razor to the recorded reels, splicing them back together into something altogether new. (i.e. Bitches Brew)
He co-founded the Jazz Composer’s Workshop with Charles Mingus in 1953, and did release his own compositions from the time on Mingus’ Debut Records. On this original composition, ‘Sounds of May,’ not only does he incorporate accordion, which actually pairs quite well with the saxes, but he also unleashes all his production tricks — cutting tape, changing speeds, overdubbing. Here’s how he describes it:
‘Sounds of May’ is an experiment on my part to see what could be done with combining many Palestrina-like vocal lines, overtones of the piano, jazz ensembles (both small and large), changing the speed of the original tape (regular to half-speed, and then combining the half-speed copy with the original track), and finally overdubbing a single alto saxophone line to most of the composition.
Kind of hard to believe this song came out in the 1950s.