In 1989, the Franco D’Andrea Trio, composed of drummer Bill Elgart, bassist Stephan Schertler, and pianist D’Andrea, released their eponymous album on YVP Music.
The Franco D’Andrea Trio album was initially released in vinyl by YVP Music, then of West Germany. In 1996, it was reissued by the same label in CD under the title Chromatic Phrygian–and is now available as a digital download.
Tracks includes a pair of compositions by Franco D’Andrea, “Chromatic Phrygian” and “Afro Waltz,” plus “Tina,” credited to D’Andrea, Stephan Schertler, and Bill Elgart. Schertler also contributes “Good Morning, Mr. Night.”
An auto-generated video for the Franco D’Andrea Trio’s “Good Morning, Mr. Night,” a composition by bassist Stephan Schertler that opens the 1989 LP, is on YouTube:
The remaining compositions on the album are Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s “This Can’t Be Love,” which is the first cut on the CD and later digital download versions of the album, and Lukas Kramer’s “Margaux Scene.”
The track lists for Franco D’Andrea Trio and Chromatic Phrygian are nearly identical with only “Good Morning, Mr. Night” being replaced by “This Can’t Be Love” as the opening track on the later reissues.
At the moment, the following video for “Margaux Scene” is the only one uploaded to the Internet that is fan-made rather than automatically generated.
Franco D’Andrea Trio’s “Margaux Scene,” composed by Lukas Kramer, is online:
The album was recorded 12 and 13 October 1989 in Hüttwilen, Switzerland. Production credit is listed as “York v. Prittwitz and Gaffron.”
In 1996, the CD release was digitally mastered at Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
Both the CD and the LP are now out of print. However, copies of the vinyl appear on eBay and the music marketplace Discogs now and then–two copies are currently for sale. The CD is more difficult to find.
An auto-generated video for the Franco D’Andrea Trio’s interpretation of “This Can’t Be Love” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, the opening track on the CD reissue, is here:
Bill Elgart recently answered a few questions about making the Franco D’Andrea Trio album:
Blue Note: How did this project come about?
Bill Elgart: It was Stephan’s idea. He wanted me and Franco.
BN: How did you know him?
BE: We had played a few gigs before.
BN: Had you played with Franco D’Andrea before?
BE: Yes, we did a couple of tours together. Franco was one of the pianists Kenny Wheeler used for the tours [when Bill was a member of the Kenny Wheeler Quartet]. We also played some other gigs together.
BN: What do you recall about recording the Franco D’Andrea Trio album back in 1989?
BE: All the musicians really got along well. I had played with both of them previously. The recording was done in Stephan’s living room, not in a studio. The engineer [Stephan’s brother Christian Schertler] did a great job.
In 2011, the Chromatic Phrygian album was added to iTunes and similar digital music retailers including Amazon. It is also available for streaming from the latter site among others.
“Tina,” the final track on the Franco D’Andrea Trio’s self-titled album credited to all three members, is online:
At this time, auto-generated videos exist on YouTube for all six cuts from Franco D’Andrea Trio aka Chromatic Phrygian.
More from the Artists
Born in Merano, Italy in 1941, Franco D’Andrea started studying piano at age 17. His professional debut was with Nunzio Rotondo in 1963, followed by his a recording with Gato Barbieri the following year, his first of more than 200 albums.
Between 1968 and 1972, Franco D’Andrea, Bruno Tommaso, and Franco Tonani, formed the Modern Art Trio. D’Andrea also played with the Santucci-Scoppa Quintet in the same time period. From 1972 to 1977, Franco D’Andrea was a member of the progressive rock-jazz group Perigeo, along with drummer Bruno Biriaco, saxophonist Claudio Fasoli, guitarist Tony Sidney, and bass player Giovanni Tommaso.
Perigeo’s albums continue to be reissued in numerous formats including a vinyl-CD bundle of Perigeo’s second and third albums in 2015 and iTunes’s recent introduction of their first four albums as downloads.
A clip of Perigeo’s live performance of “Abbiamo tutti un Blues da piangere,” the fourth track from the 1973 RCA album of the same name, composed by Giovanni Tommaso, is on YouTube–this album was reissued by Schema in 2015:
In 1978, besides forming a quartet with Tino Tracanna, Attilio Zanchi, and Gianni Cazzola, D’Andrea began teaching piano at the Siena Seminars, kicking off a career in teaching that continues today. Later, he founded a trio with Dodo Goya and Biriaco, as well as forging the beginning of his prolific relationship with the Enrico Rava Quartet.
Over the years, Franco D’Andrea has played with a long list of distinguished fellow musicians including Barry Altschul, Han Bennink, Conte Candoli, Johnny Griffin, Daniel Humair, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Dave Liebman, Albert Mangelsdorff, Hank Mobley, Max Roach, Frank Rosolino, Tony Scott, Toots Thielemans, and Kenny Wheeler, to name just a handful.
In 1988, pianist Franco D’Andrea and double bassist Giovanni Tommaso reunited in the studio, along with drummer Robert Gatto, to record their Kick Off album for Red Records. The album is currently available in vinyl, CD, and now as a download from Amazon among other online retailers.
A video for the title track from Kick Off, composed by Franco D’Andrea and Giovanni Tommaso, is here:
An exclusive interview with musician-bandleader Giovanni Tommaso, which explores some of his career highlights including playing with Chet Baker, his first trip to New York, and forming Perigeo, is located at The Sixth Dimension, a sister site of Bill’s Blue Note.
Born in 1959 in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, bass player Stephan Schertler has played at concerts around Europe, especially Italy. Among players he has performed with in Italy include Ettore Fioravanti, Swizz jazz pianist Lukas Kramer, composer of “Margaux Scene,” and Claudio Fasoli–who also made three albums with Bill Elgart and was a member of Perigeo with Franco D’Andrea.
Schertler is also an engineer and president of his own company, the Schertler Group. He has been designing instrument transducers for more than three decades, and his DYN and STAT pickups have grown to become industry standards for amplifying not only guitar and mandolin but also bass, piano, violin, and other orchestral instruments.
A video in which Stephan Schertler describes the AG6 Magnetico acoustic guitar pickup followed by a demonstration by guitarist Jason Kanakis on an Eastman E10OM-SB is online:
Born in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1942, Bill Elgart received his first drum set at age 13. In the early 1960s, he enrolled at what was then called the Berklee School of Music, studying with master drummer Alan Dawson. After two semesters, Elgart left school to start his career as a professional musician. He first made a name in New York’s New Jazz Scene in the mid-1960s, playing with Carla Bley, Marion Brown, Mike Nock, Sam Rivers, and was a member of the New York Art Quartet, along with Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai, Eddie Gomez, and Buell Neidlinger. In 1968, Bill Elgart joined Paul Bley and Gary Peacock on Mr. Joy, Elgart’s recording debut, his first of more than 75 albums as a leader or sideman. A closer look at Bill Elgart’s career in music is found on this site under “bio.”
Among recent recordings, Bill Elgart joined vibraphonist Dizzy Krisch, bassist Karoline Höfler, and guest vocalist Lauren Newton on their 2016 Lonely Woman album released by JazzHausMusik. Elgart is also on the upcoming Cause & Consequence album by the Christian Hassenstein Trio, with bassist Sven Schuster and guitarist Hassenstein, scheduled for a 11 March release by the DJAMtones label.
A closer look at Krisch – Höfler – Elgart featuring Lauren Newton’s new Lonely Woman album on this site includes several videos as well as an exclusive interview with bass player Karoline Höfler. See the ALBUMS section at the top of the page.
“Green” from Krisch-Höfler-Elgart feat. Lauren Newton’s Lonely Woman, with Dizzy Krisch on vibraphone, Karoline Höfler on bass, Bill Elgart on drums, and Lauren Newton on voice, composed by Krisch, is on YouTube:
Franco D’Andrea References
And one final track, Franco D’Andrea’s composition “Chromatic Phrygian,” featuring Bill Elgart on drums, Stephan Schertler on bass, and D’Andrea on piano: