by Pam Byrne
Source:Valparaiso University Concert

Whenever we go to events, we carefully choose seats that easily allow quick exit in case Alex decides he’s had enough. At the concert we were able to find aisle seats near the door in the first row of an upper tier that provided a good view of the stage. The V.U. Faculty Jazz Trio, consisting of talented musicians who play piano, bass, and drums, performed that night. In addition, special guest performer Frank Catalano accompanied them on saxophone. While Alex seemed to enjoy all of the songs they performed, he especially liked Frank Catalano’s original composition “God Made It Beautiful.” [Click herefor an excerpt of this song Alex enjoyed so much.] During the concert, which lasted over an hour with an encore, Alex displayed improvements that we have noticed in the past several months. First, despite being in an audience of about two hundred people, he did not seem bothered at all by the crowd or by the noise. Also, he has learned appropriate social behavior, namely being quiet during the concert, yet applauding at the proper times. Unlike many of the college students there, who are about the same age as Alex, he didn’t keep checking a cell phone for messages or texting people during the show. Even if he had a cell phone, I doubt Alex would want to be distracted while he was engaged in something as enjoyable as a concert. More evidence of his progress lies in his ability to keep time by tapping his hand on his leg. Prior to beginning music therapy nearly a year ago, he did not have a good sense of rhythm. Now he can move in time with the beat.


by Shepherd Express Staff

Chicago’s Frank Catalano emerged as a teenage saxophonist in the ’90s amid great fanfare, and over the past decade has proven himself one of the few teenage prodigies to live up to the hype, earning an increased critical following and even a Grammy nod for his edgy bebop. His success is all the more remarkable considering that as a teenager he severed his middle finger in a mechanical accident, an injury that forced him to alter his technique. Tonight Catalano returns to the Jazz Estate.

by A.V. Club Madison

Chicago sax player Frank Catalano tears into his leads with fluid, funky aggression, and can keep that boldness up through 10-minutes-plus live workouts on standards and his original compositions. This probably explains why he’s been able to hold down gigs with both Santana and (yep) Ministry, but it also means he’s best suited to push his way to the front of the mix and stay there. At least, that’s how things tend to work out on studio albums like 2008’s Bang! and live albums like 2001’s Live At The Green Mill. His set at Magnus should have some extra punch courtesy of John Sparrow, a Milwaukee drummer who plays in the current incarnation of Violent Femmes.

by Renee Tomell
Source: On the Go Online : Suburban Life Publications

Breaks both good and bad helped launch Frank Catalano into the stratosphere among saxophone players. The Hanover Park native graduated in 1999 from DePaul University with a degree in classical composition. A performer, composer and recording artist, he is also a well-known arranger whose music is licensed for television and film. He has played with artists from Miles Davis and Tony Bennett to Destiny’s Child, and this spring with Seal on Oprah’s show. (more…)

by Ted Gioia

If there were any more blood and grit in Frank Catalano’s sax tone, they would need to send it to the M.A.S.H. unit for cleansing and dressing. This track starts with an Ayler-esque scream and finishes with a very astringent coda. In between, you will find many shrieks and growls and—yes!—quite a bit of raw soulfulness. The rhythm section bounces along from the opening measure, making you think they would rather be playing anything except a ballad. But the saxophonist hardly minds, since he had no intention of getting blue and sentimental. Many tenor legends have tackled this song before, but none of them has quite slapped it around the way Catalano does. Listen to it while you can—he may get a restraining order tomorrow.

by Bill Meredith
Source:Jazz Times

Every musician’s playing is an extension of his or her personality, and tenor saxophonist Frank Catalano’s natural exuberance is on display throughout his sixth CD, BANG! The Chicago native draws from a hometown hero in saxophonist Von Freeman, an early mentor in organist Charles Earland, and plenty of R&B as he plays the way he talks, in short, barely controlled bursts. Most of the 10 tracks on BANG! are four minutes or less. (more…)

by Amber Holst
Source:North Shore Magazine

If you ask 28-year-old jazz prodigy Frank Catalano, the youngest saxophonist ever voted into the “Downbeat Critics Poll,” when he knew he was going to dedicate his life to the sax, he’ll tell you it was at age 17, shortly after he got himself kicked out of the Kenilworth Country Club.

This was, of course, before Catalano performed for audiences as Far away as China and recorded his fifth album, They Mighty Burner, which debuted at No.11 on Billboard’s Top Jazz charts last May. (more…)