Aldo Romano was born in France in 1941, the son of Italian immigrants. His first instrument was the guitar, but he decided to switch to drums in 1961. Essentially self-taught, he nonetheless benefited from the advice of Michel Babault and Jacques Thollot. He admired Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Ed Blackwell, and Billy Higgins. Alto sax player Jackie McLean took notice of him and they played together on one of the McLean’s Parisian sojourns. He met Jean-François Jenny-Clark around the same time and the two became inseparable for a long period. Both were hired by Bernard Vitet who formed, in 1964 with François Tusques one of the first European free jazz groups.
For several years starting from this period, Sunny Murray was one of his most direct influences. He met Don Cherry as well as Gato Barbieri with whom he played regularly. Along with those two, and with Enrico Rava and Steve Lacy, he took part in the recording New Feelings, under the direction of Giorgio Gaslini. He worked at the same time with a number of musicians belonging to the same musical movement, notably Barney Wilen, Michel Portal, and Lacy, as well as with less avant-garde players like Eddy Louiss, Jean-Luc Ponty, Phil Woods, or Charles Tolliver. He met Joachim Kühn and worked regularly with him for several years, recording with him in 1967 Transfiguration and Impressions Of New York during a trip to the United States when Joachim and Rolf Kühn’s quartet played at the Newport Festival. Like Kühn and Wilen, he quickly became interested in the possibilities of combining a free-jazz aesthetic with the motoric rhythms of rock. That perspective gave birth to several albums on which Romano played an essential role: Dear Prof Leary by Barney Wilen (1968) is the best example. In l969, a particularly fertile year, he recorded with Kühn (Sounds Of Feelings), Portal, and Lacy. He met Keith Jarrett, with whom he would work for a time. With Henri Texier, flutist Chris Hayward, and guitarist Georges Locatelli, Romano formed Total Issue, an interesting take on fusion music in which Romano unveiled a new facet of his talent�in addition to drumming, he sang.