Franco D’Andrea needs no introduction as a musician. The story of his art is so rich, intense and logically coherent that there is no point in listing here all his many collaborations, encounters and major works. To do so would require a separate publication, and of some size, too – capable of doing justice to the whole of his formidable career in sufficient detail.
And then again, to be able to reduce his temperament, his originality and consistency, to a brief outline that still means something, one would really have to be a poet. Not a poet fond of abstruse and high-flown wordplay, though, but one with that knack of day-to-day language, plain but full of meaning, used by our finest poets. The same language spoken by Franco through the piano, always seeking the leanest poetry, stripped down to its essentials but profoundly true, drawn from a language wonderfully poised between the everyday and the supernatural. A language rooted in the tradition of African American music, to the point where it is not always easy to follow all the way back every single detail of its rhythmic digressions, insistent riffs and many quotations, which are always appropriations made in the name of authenticity. Franco’s work needs repeated listening, familiarity, care, willingness to discover and be surprised.