Jazz Institute of Chicago

Frank Catalano: Live at the Green Mill with Randy Brecker

Frank Catalano: Live at the Green Mill with Randy Brecker

Frank Catalano, about 23-years-old, plays the tenor sax like no one else and seems to have the energy of a nuclear power plant at his fingertips. This live session, recorded earlier this year, confirms that Catalano has total command of modern straight-ahead jazz as it has been applied to the tenor sax. It is apparent that he has been influenced from most of the hard driving tenors, from Coleman Hawkins and Coltrane to Gato Barbieri and Pharaoh Sanders.

The repertoire is well known and timeless, often played at jam sessions around the world: "Softly As In a Morning Sunrise," "Killer Joe," "Bubble House," "Impressions" and "The Theme." But jazz is not measured so much on what you play but how you play it and what you nuance you add to the artform. On this session Catalano is surrounded with trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist Larry Novak, bassist Eric Hochberg and drummer Paul Wertico—and somehow prevails over them all. It is interesting to realize that each one of them were also great players in their early twenties and are now old enough to be Frank's dad.

I've enjoyed Frank's playing since he was a teen tenor threat and I know that he has studied modern composition. Although I love this set I'm also looking forward to Frank's future a composer/player. Check out this chapter, be musically amazed and think of it as great art in early bloom.—MV

Available on Delmark Records, www.delmark.com

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