Bruce Ackley: soprano and tenor saxophone
Tom Yoder: trombone
Dave Casini: vibraphone
George Cremaschi: string bass
Andrew Borger: drums

The band Frankenstein initially came together in 1999 to explore the music of trombonist Grachan Moncur III, specifically these quintet albums on Blue Note:
One Step Beyond (1963)
Destination….Out! (1963)
Evolution (1963)
Some Other Stuff (1964)

Three of these records included Jackie McLean, Tony Williams and Bobby Hutcherson’s vibraphone as the ‘chordal instrument’ (instead of piano). Another touchstone with similar instrumentation was Eric Dolphy’s album ‘Out to Lunch’ (1964)
We also drew on other Blue Note albums from the same era led by Williams, Hutcherson and pianist Andrew Hill which explored paths beyond hard-bop and modal jazz into ‘the new thing’.

The band was named for one of Grachan’s compositions. Our first gigs were at Cato’s Ale House in Oakland, and we played three concerts at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco (1999, 2001 and 2002).

Drummer Andrew Borger started to play/tour/record with singer Nora Jones, so Ches Smith filled in when we played an outdoor concert for SF Jazz at Levi Plaza (somewhat surreal: September 12, 2001, the day after ‘9/11’)
Andrew was able to return for our final concert at Intersection. Then he moved to New York, Tom moved to Oregon and George moved to Czech Republic.

Bruce and I tried to reanimate our creature several times. In 2007 we spoke directly to Grachan Moncur III but were unable to provide what he needed financially to come out and play with us. It was not until after Mr Moncur died in 2022 that we revisited his music for a concert in SF (that Bruce had to unexpectedly miss). See ‘Some Other Stuff’ on the video page.