Frank Catalano
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Frank Catalano

Chicago, Illinois, United States | MAJOR

Chicago, Illinois, United States | MAJOR
Band Jazz Soul




"Frank Catalano's song Sona"

Frank Catalano discusses the creative process. - Creative Artists Resources


Every musician’s playing is an extension of his or her personality, and tenor saxophonist Frank Catalano’s natural exuberance is on display throughout his sixth CD, BANG! The Chicago native draws from a hometown hero in saxophonist Von Freeman, an early mentor in organist Charles Earland, and plenty of R&B as he plays the way he talks, in short, barely controlled bursts. Most of the 10 tracks on BANG! are four minutes or less.

The first three—the title track, “Soul Burner” and “Shakin’”—are all groove-oriented numbers emphasizing the playing of Catalano and electric pianist Scott Williams within the sparse, rhythmic framework created by bassist Adam Whitson, drummer Daron Nelson and percussionist Chris Paquette. Occasionally, the 31-year-old saxophonist has too much to say. On the Guy Wood/Robert Mellin standard “My One and Only Love,” he delivers a showy, squawking rendition that might be better suited to a live performance than a studio recording.

Blame it on his youth, but give him points for at least pushing the standard envelope. Catalano’s later originals, like “Damn Right” and “Funky Dunky,” feature his clean, articulate lines on pieces that straddle the fence between jazz and funk. It’s the kind of hybrid style he’s worked on since getting into a Chicago jazz club at age 17 to sub for Earland’s absent saxophonist. Catalano plays alto flute on “Night Moves,” another piece bearing an Earland influence through Williams’ soulful keyboards. The saxophonist closes with Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” which gets a dub-style, programmed arrangement. Not exactly standard fare, again, but it sure ends the CD with a bang. - Jazz Times


If there were any more blood and grit in Frank Catalano's sax tone, they would need to send it to the M.A.S.H. unit for cleansing and dressing. This track starts with an Ayler-esque scream and finishes with a very astringent coda. In between, you will find many shrieks and growls and—yes!—quite a bit of raw soulfulness. The rhythm section bounces along from the opening measure, making you think they would rather be playing anything except a ballad. But the saxophonist hardly minds, since he had no intention of getting blue and sentimental. Many tenor legends have tackled this song before, but none of them has quite slapped it around the way Catalano does. Listen to it while you can—he may get a restraining order tomorrow. -



BANG! (2008)





CUT IT OUT! (1998)


LIVE ONLY (2010)




Destiny's Child - Girl Remix - Columbia Records

Jennifer Lopez - Get Right - Columbia Records

John Legend - Ordinary People Remix - Columbia Records

Matrix Soundtrack - Maverick/Warner Bros

Tony Bennett - Here's To The Ladies - Columbia Records

Charles Earland's Jazz Organ Summit featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Johnny Hammond Smith - Cannonball Records

Charles Earland - Gospel According to Earland - Lord and Earland Records

Barrett Deems - Groovin' Hard - Delmark Records

Delmark 45th Anniversary featuring Buddy Guy, Junior Wells - Delmark Records

Delmark 50th Anniversary featuring Von Freeman, Ari Brown - Delmark Records

Chicago Marathon Compilation featuring Randy Brecker - Lakeside Records

Vandoren "VandoJazz" Sampler - Vandoren Records

Buddy Defranco and John Burnett Orchestra - Swinging in the Windy City - Lakeside Records

Frank Catalano - 7 of 9 - Blue Note/Premonition Records

Frank Catalano/Paul Wertico - Let Your Garden Grow - Reel Sounds Recordings

Louie Bellson - "Live at the Jazz Showcase" Video - Showcase Videos

Miles Davis - "Live at the Southshore" - Live Recording

Les Claypool - "Live at the Vic Theater" - Prawnsong Records

Randy Brecker/Frank Catalano - Cafe Ennui - Jazzfest Recordings

Von Freeman/Frank Catalano/Ari Brown - Live at the JVC Jazz Fest - Festival Recordings

Frank Catalano/Jeff "Tain" Watts and the Cresct Superband - Live at the Peaks Jazz Fest

Rick Drumm - Fatty Necrosis

Von Freeman/Frank Catalano - Live at the Chicago Jazz Festival - University of Chicago Press

Frank Catalano/Brian Bromberg with the Crescent Super Band - Live at the Park City Jazz Fest - Festival Recordings

Esperanza Spaulding and Frank Catalano - Concert/Clinic - American Fork Utah High School

1995 Grammy All-Star Big Band - Grammy Recordings

Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra - Live and Screaming - Lakeside Records

Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra - Labor of Love - Lakeside Records

Bill O'Connell Big Band - Contemporary Classics - Birdland Records

Frank Catalano/Wayne Burgeron/Mike Davis - Mandan Live - Live Recording

Motorola Cool Groves CD Sampler - Frank Catalano/TuPac - California Love

Land Rover CD Sampler - Street Jazz - A440 Records

Jaguar CD Sampler - Bucktown - A440 Records



Frank Catalano makes his Savoy label debut with “Bang!” Bang! debuted at #12 on the Billboard Jazz Charts. Frank’s previous CD, “Mighty Burner” was on the Billboard Charts for 20 straight weeks. Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Von Freeman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool and Louis Bellson while still in high school! This led to his signing to Delmark Records at age 18 and a string of critically acclaimed recordings. Catalano has been heard by millions of people all over the world thanks in part to 3 Grammy-winning and 11 Grammy-nominated recordings with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, and John Legend. He recently performed live on the Oprah Winfrey TV show with singer/composer Seal.