New York Times Feature

on May 24, 2013 by Neil Tesser

Frank Catalano going strong

on Jan 10, 2013 by Howard Reich

Frank Catalano Cover Story

on Mar 20, 2011 by Dan Ferris and Mike Jeffers

Saxophonist Frank Catalano set to blow away the 2010 Isthmus Jazz Festival

on Jun 03, 2010 by Dean Robbins

Frank Catalano's Reed and Mouthpiece

on Apr 20, 2010 by In Tune Monthly

Geschliffener Sound mit viel Soul

on Mar 22, 2010 by Von Rolf Graff

One Autism Mom's Notes

on Feb 14, 2010 by Pam Byrne

Frank Catalano Tonight

on Feb 13, 2010 by Shepherd Express Staff

Frank Catalano Quartet

on Jan 28, 2010 by A.V. Club Madison

Chit-Chat: Sax man Frank Catalano plays it cool

on Dec 21, 2009 by Renee Tomell

Frank Catalano: My One and Only Love (Review)

on May 01, 2009 by Ted Gioia

BANG! Review

on Oct 01, 2008 by Bill Meredith

Critics Preview

on Oct 03, 2007 by WUMUSICA

Sax in the Suburbs: The Strange –but true story of how Frank Catalano, a globe-trotting saxphone phenom, came to call the North Shore his adopted home.

on Jan 01, 2007 by Amber Holst

A Little Night Music

on Sep 24, 2006 by Where Magazine

Billboard Listing Jul 2006

on Jul 24, 2006 by Billboard Magazine

Chicago saxophonist Frank Catalano grows into his reputation

on Jul 12, 2006 by Howard Reich

Mighty Burner Review

on Jul 05, 2006 by Ron Netsky

Mighty Burner Review

on May 09, 2006 by Mark Corroto

Frank Catalano: Sax Machine Shows Jazz Is Still A Young Man's Game

on Sep 15, 2005 by Michael Austin

Sax Machine

on Apr 24, 2004 by Chicago Magazine

Chicago saxophonist Frank Catalano grows into his reputation

on July 12, 2006 by Howard Reich Source:Chicago Tribune

More than a decade ago, a teenage Chicago saxophonist startled audiences with the rough-hewn brilliance and energy of his playing. The question was whether he would build on the promise of his debut or simply fade away, as most prodigies do, whether he could find a way of turning the youthful ardor of his playing into something deeper and more distinctive.

Frank Catalano answered the question definitively over the weekend at the Green Mill Jazz Club, where he celebrated the release of a new recording and launched a lengthy run of Chicago appearances. Though he hasn't lost any of the fervency of his earliest performances, he now conveys an unmistakable intellectual heft and authority. More important, he sounds as if he's on the verge of forging a self-styled, autobiographical musical language.

For starters, it's essential to note the man's mastery of his instrument and its history. While some listeners might find Catalano's playing a tad overbearing or even histrionic, there's something to be said for a player who seeks to thunder -- and knows how to do so.

Catalano's gales of sound, in other words, are not mere bombast, for he packs ample melodic information, rhythmic complexity and musical development into his solos. Ultimately, it's the substance of what he plays that captures attention more than the heroic scale of his statements. That the 28-year-old musician can perform classic bebop, honking R&B, tender 1930s balladry and harmonically adventurous modernism with equal aplomb deepens the appeal of his work.

In a way, Catalano -- who will be playing late-night sets at the Mill for the next two months -- is following in the tradition of the great tenorist Ed Petersen, who played the club regularly until he moved to New Orleans in 1994. Petersen's galvanic solos attracted some of the most adventurous musicians in the city to his sessions and acquired near-legendary status.

Like Petersen, Catalano marries a Herculean sound to a mercurial technique. And though Catalano hasn't yet matched Petersen's level of artistic daring and harmonic invention (few players do), the younger musician clearly is headed in that direction.

During Catalano's Friday night set, he played so fast, so hard and with such heady abandon in "Mighty Burner" -- the title track of his new CD -- as to suggest he was about to careen into a musical syntax of his own making. The high-register squeals and barreling low notes he unleashed in "Burner's Blues" and the Ben Webster-inspired romanticism he evoked in "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" attested to the breadth of his expression.

Backed by the mighty Willie Pickens on piano, Matt Thompson on bass and Rick Vitek on drums, Catalano asserted himself as one of the more formidable tenor players in a city crowded with them.

He's ready for prime time.