Aldo Romano' New Blood
A new album for the drummer Aldo Romano, who at 70, is increasing hismusical collaborations. For someone who likes nothing more than playing with a new jazz generation, this new line-up is very well suited to him (25 year old saxophonist Baptiste Herbin, or the young Italian pianist Alessandro Lanzoni, best young solist at the international Martial Solal contest in 2010), and a safe bet: Michel Benita on double bass.
In 1959, the "Living Theater", co-directed by Judith Malina and Julian Beck, created the Jack Gelber play "The Connection". This is a play within a play ; the producer Jim Dunn, and the writer Jaybird, want to show the unseen of the life of the addicts to hard drugs. They have one thing in common : the expectation of "the connection", we would say the dealer today, which should give them the powder. This is a camera in a slum rented by a crazy man, Leach. There's four or five clueless in need and a jazz quartet that plays waiting for their dealer "Cowboy".
The play, which will become a film directed by Shirley Clarke in 1961, will be performed in New York, London, Los Angeles, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, the Living Theater and a jazz quartet led by pianist Freddie Redd and Jackie McLean on alto sax. The music is recorded by the "Blue Note" label in 1960. This record has obsessed me since that time, by the beauty of its themes but also, later, by my participation in 1961, with the McLean's quartet at "Chat qui Pe^che" famous jazz club, and to the French version of the play directed by Jean Columbus, with in the role of Leach, John Herbert, who became famous comic deadpan Popeck.
I played Ernie, a Puerto Rican completely crazy, frustrated drummer and saxophonist, Siegfried Kessler or Michel Graillier on piano, Jean-Franc,ois Jenny Clark on double bass, Nathan Davis on tenor sax and me on drums. In 1968, at the disappeared Theatre des Arts and in 1969 at the The'a^tre du Vieux Colombier, the play meets a critical success, but the subject is too sensitive to attract the general public. Today, with "New Blood", I take back the music of Freddie Redd ; why have I waited so long ? Out of respect for the heavy toll paid by jazzmen of that time, dead drug addicts in the general indifference of a society that did not understand their music. And then, I must say that I am a miracle not to have fallen into drugs which I was surrounded by. Baptiste Herbin alto sax, pianist Alessandro Lanzoni and my partner Michel Benita bass, have given me the "New Blood", the new blood I needed to offer you the music I love so much. (Aldo Romano)