If I were a saxophonist, I certainly would want to be Maceo Parker for a day. Frank catalano Certainly had the long-time James Brown sideman on his mind when he recorded Mighty Burner.
With three fine Delmark hard bop discs under his belt, the twenty-something Chicagoan unleashes this crowd-pleasing live session. He takes no pauses, focusing on quartet music, soloing liberally and barely pausing for a minimal drum solo by Robert Gay. The title track is a rocked-out blues that presses the accelerator continuously. Jazz snobs certainly should avoid the funky music laid down here. Catalano plays bar-walking pleasers throughout. (I think Mr. Coltrane dipped his big toe into some of this pleasure early on too.)
If Catalano weren’t a major talent on the saxophone, this guilty pleasure of an album would call for a pass. But he tosses some smart blues improvisation within the honking on “Burner’s Blues,” and the funk lays heavy on “God’s Love For Music,” with some sizzling electric keyboard and bass backing. While the disco remix tacked onto the end is very forgettable—did somebody call for a 1970s soundtrack?—the live tracks are a jazz fan’s guilty pleasure.