Frank Catalano

(Savoy Jazz)

Review by James Walker

It appears that Chicago tenor saxophonist Frank Catalano is right on target with his latest CD release "Bang." On this grooving new release, Frank is accompanied by a group of young Chicago musicians: Scott Williams on Piano, Adam Whitson on Bass, Chris Paquette on Percussion, and Davon Nelson on Drums. In addition, Catalano also plays the alto and flute and composed all selections except "My One and Only Love" and "Footprints."

"My One and Only Love" was aptly dubbed by Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich as one of the "most important releases of the summer." This ballad is full of gusto and allows Catalano to display his wide ranging skill. His play on "Shakin'" "and "Damn Right" is reminiscent of the of the Bebop sound of another Chicagoan, the great multireedist Ari Brown. And the double-barrel opening of the title track followed by "Soul Burner" shows how much Catalano has grown since his debut album. He is still the mighty burner, but the groove is king.

Pianist Scott Williams displays a nice touch on both "Damn Right" and "Night Moves." Throughout this recording, he has opportunities to express himself and stretch on extended solos, but it's Catalano CD, and he demonstrates his diversity on the alto, tenor and the flute.

This CD has pieces that should satisfy the appetite of most listeners with everything from the lovely aforementioned ballad "My One and Only Love" to the foot tapping up beat "Funky Dunky" which allows Catalano to reach out to and identify with the "hip hop" generation. This CD deserves to be added to the discerning listener's collection. This young veteran should have a bullseye hit on his hand with this "Bang."

Check out Frank live in Japan playing "Funky Dunky"

Check out Frank's Web page

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Contact James Walker and JazzChicago.net at jwjazz@awb.us

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