EmptyTeo Macero, a record producer, composer and saxophonist noted for his role in producing innovative Miles Davis albums for Columbia Records, died Feb. 19 after a long illness in Riverhead, N.Y. He was 82.
Macero also was musical editor for Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus.
He produced such Davis albums as "Bitches Brew," "In a Silent Way" and "Sketches of Spain," using techniques inspired by composers like Edgard Varese, who had been using tape-editing and electronic effects.
Macero studied at the Juilliard School of Music with composer Henry Brant, a pioneer of spatial and antiphonal music.
He worked as a tenor saxophonist — with Mingus, Teddy Charles and the Sandole Brothers, among others — and composed modern classical music as well as working in the classical-to-jazz idiom then called Third Stream before joining Columbia in 1957. He worked with such artists as J.J. Johnson, Mahalia Jackson, Johnny Mathis and Dave Brubeck, for whom he produced the renowned album "Time Out." He also produced Broadway cast albums like "A Chorus Line" and the soundtracks for such films as "Manhattan by Numbers," "Day of Resurrection," "The Orphan" and "End of the Road."
After he left Columbia in 1975, he worked with Robert Palmer, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, the Lounge Lizards, Vernon Reid, D.J. Logic and others.
Larry Norman, a prolific singer, songwriter and producer known as the "father of Christian rock music," died Feb. 24 of heart failure at his home in Salem, Ore. He was 60.
Time magazine once called Norman "the most significant artist in his field." He released scores of solo albums during a four-decade career, including "Upon This Rock" (1969), widely regarded as the first Christian rock record. His music was an influence on such artists as U2, John Mellencamp and the Pixies, and his songs have been covered by such acts as Petula Clark, Sammy Davis Jr. and DC Talk.
Norman first earned national attention with his pop/psychedelic band People, which had a top 15 pop single in 1968 with a cover of the Zombies' "I Love You." The band opened for such acts as the Doors, the Who, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
David Watkin, a cinematographer who won an Academy Award for "Out of Africa" and whose work included "Chariots of Fire," died Feb. 19 of cancer at his home in Brighton, England. He was 82.
In "Africa," Watkin set about giving the movie a softness to enhance the lush, romantic mood set by director Sydney Pollack. He shot during the day with film manufactured for use at night and vice versa.
He worked on more than 60 films, including four features for Tony Richardson and three for Franco Zeffirelli.
Watkin developed a system of crane-elevated lights for night shooting that simulates natural light. Because movie electricians had nicknamed him Wendy, the system is known as the Wendy Light.
Lionel Mark Smith, a character actor who worked often in David Mamet's film and stage works, died Feb. 13 of cancer at his home in Inglewood, Calif. He was 62.
Smith appeared in seven Mamet films, including "Edmond" (2005) and "Homicide" (1991), and many of his plays. His casting in one of the plays, "Oleanna," created controversy. The play's 1994 debut at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles was called off when Mamet insisted on casting Smith as a professor in his two-character drama about sexual harassment on a college campus. Taper officials reportedly contended that Smith, who was black, would inject a confusing racial angle into the play.
During three decades, Smith appeared in more than 45 films and television shows, including "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue."