NEWS

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

Frank Catalano going strong

on January 10, 2013 by Howard Reich Source:Chicago Tribune

When it comes to playing through pain, Chicago tenor saxophonist Frank Catalano has more experience than most of his colleagues.

Eighteen years ago, he severed the middle finger of his right hand while fixing his car, enduring surgery to reattach it and months of therapy to regain the ability to play his horn. To this day, the digit sometimes swells up like a balloon.

Two years ago, he was in auto accident that tore a ligament and cartilage in a shoulder and left his neck "hanging out like a Slinky," he recalls.

Months of therapy have ensued, and it wasn't until last year that he started playing hard again, though he has had to cancel dozens of important engagements along the way.

So when he takes the stage of Andy's Jazz Club on Friday and Saturday nights, Catalano, one of the mightiest of this city's under-40 tenor men, will be ready for battle, he says.

"At this point, I'm just excited to be in one piece," Catalano says.

"I still have to deal with pain in my hand and wrist and shoulder; it kind of runs up my whole arm. But other than giving it more time (to heal), there's not much else I can do. Unless something is absolutely life or death, I don't recommend surgery. I tried it after I lost my finger.

"But, physically, I'm doing pretty good," adds Catalano, whose optimism and exuberance always have been evident in his larger-than-life playing. "Mentally, I'm excited."

For good reason. In the next couple of months, Catalano will release the first of three recordings he made last year.

"Old Skool" pairs him with pianist Scott Williams in duo settings of jazz standards, such as "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Our Love is Here to Stay," plus an original homage to one of Catalano's heroes, Von Freeman: "Blues for Vonski."

After that will come a duo CD with the inimitable Chicago drummer Paul Wertico and a trio album with former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and Brand X bassist Percy Jones, which promises to be a high-powered, high-energy affair.

"It's definitely a jazz album," says Catalano of his partnership with Chamberlain and Jones. "Yeah, Percy has played on Brian Eno records, and Chamberlain with the Smashing Pumpkins, obviously, but they're such good players in a jazz setting too.

"I knew it would be a powerful trio, but it has ballads also."

More important, the repertoire is real jazz, including Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "Serenade to a Cuckoo," John Coltrane's "Equinox," Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" and a work Catalano penned for his wife, whom he married a couple of months before his auto crash.

The very fact that since that terrible event Catalano, who always has been an exuberant, extroverted player, has been recording in such intimate contexts seems as intriguing as it is promising. For if Catalano always has leaned toward epic-scaled statement, perhaps he's taking a somewhat different tack now. Maybe he's personalizing and deepening his approach.

Certainly, he appears to be regaining his energy, for he's back to doing the late-late shows Wednesday nights (early Thursday mornings) at the Green Mill in Uptown, an engagement he loves because, he says, it enables him to develop new material.

Most important, Catalano sounds ready to go in the new year. 

"2013 is going to be a (very good) year," says Catalano, who sounds like he means it.