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.