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Album Review

There is never one moment during Bang! that one doubts Frank Catalano can blow the roof off of any establishment while playing his tenor. He is a powerful player with an intense tone who, while hinting in spots at Stanley Turrentine, latter-day Sonny Rollins, and various funk tenors, has his own sound and approach. At the time of this recording Catalano was 29 years old, but had begun his career 12 years earlier playing with organist Charles Earland. After touring with Santana, he became the youngest solo artist to sign with the Delmark label (he was 19). Since then, he has not only worked with a who's who of Chicago jazz but also Clark Terry, Arturo Sandoval, Tony Bennett, Tito Puente, David Sanborn, and even DJ Logic. One of the first jazz artists in a long time signed to Savoy, Catalano tears into the opening selection of this CD ("Bang!") and never looks back. He dominates and sometimes nearly tears apart the music whether it be a simple funk piece, a relatively brief "Footprints," or "My One and Only Love." While his flute feature on "Night Moves" gives you a chance to catch your breath and "Later" is a throwaway funk novelty, most of the other selections exclusively feature his high-powered tenor with his rhythm section cast mostly in a supportive role. While much of the material is not all that memorable (he needs more challenging material), Frank Catalano certainly gives it his all.


Born: Chicago, IL

Genre: Performing Arts

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Chicago's Frank Catalano is a soulful jazz saxophonist who has garnered attention as a sought-after session player, touring musician, and bandleader. Playing tenor saxophone since the age of eight, Catalano sharpened his playing skills as a student at DePaul University and launched his professional music career while still a teenager. After playing with jazz drummer Louis Bellson and avant-garde jazz organist Charles Earland in 1991, he accepted an invitation to join pop vocalist Tony Bennett's group....
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Bang!, Frank Catalano
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