Frank Collett was just so much fun and relaxed to be with. I felt immediately comfortable with him, like an old friend. I set up close to the piano, because he would play something that illustrates what he was talking about. It was all very spontaneous and natural. Frank Collett was actually Frank Taglieri from Brooklyn New York. He was a child prodigy with perfect pitch and made it a life long study to transpose all of Bill Evans intricate voicings; such as “Spring is Here”. Frank played with trios his whole life and was a devoted Bill Evans fan. He talks about having Bill at his house and going over some changes he was refining for inclusion on an album. He was an accompanist for Sarah Vaughn and Carmen McRae. He was just so full of life, and so full of music, and you can hear in his playing his beautiful touch and soulful playing when he plays some renditions of ‘Turn Out the Stars”, “Waltz for Debby” and my favorite ‘Elsa’.
Frank Collett didn’t blow his own horn and didn’t have a big ego, but he was a beautiful cat, who had such a high regard for the level of playing in Bill Evans music, that it was just great spending some time with him. I am so sorry he didn’t get a chance to see my film because I know he would have liked it. Frank Collette passed away in 2016.
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