Teo Macero Explorations 10" (Debut,1953)
While notable for being Miles Davis's producer's first record, made when he was a senior at Juilliard with a young Charles Mingus as a sideman, what makes this record such a great listen is Teo Macero's thirst to experiment. The compositions on this record are not too far from what others in the jazz world were doing at the time, though those others number quite few; however, the sounds are certainly not what the Cool crowd on the West Coast or the Hard Boppers on the East were making. There is something a bit darker here, a noir sound. There is also a lot of space, the tunes are slowed down so the music breaths. It reminds me of a dark stretch of wet highway. And then there is the accordion. I don't know who invited Lanny Di Jay to the party but I am glad they did. When one thinks jazz, accordion is one of the last instruments to come to mind. Polka, yes. Rancheros, sure. But jazz? Listen to this and you will wonder why accordions are not in more jazz ensembles. The grinding notes squeezed out of that box fit perfectly in the eerie landscape created by Macero. The last cut here, Explorations, is Macero by himself, a series of overdubs. Take all three songs and you get a great insight into the producer Teo Macero became. Think of his willingness to push sound around and you will never ponder why his records with Miles were so great.
I've worked w/ young players and 99% overplay and play too fast which is another unusual thing about these cuts. They sound like they mommas just whipped their asses (heh)