153

Frank Catalano: Pins 'n' Needles

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Baby­faced Frank Catalano, who looks barely old enough to shave, wields his razor­sharp tenor saxophone like a machete on Pins ‘n’ Needles to slice and dice a trio of standards, three of his own compositions and Charlie Parker’s “Scrapple from the Apple,” ably supported by renowned trumpet master Randy Brecker (on three selections) and an incendiary rhythm section spearheaded by pianist Willie Pickens, anchored by bassist Larry Gray and driven by drummer Joel Spencer. Catalano, a Chicagoan who’s still in his mid­twenties, has a remarkable post­bop vocabulary for one so young, as well as a technical proficiency that is the equal of many of today’s widely promoted “young lions.” If there’s a weakness, to these ears, it lies in his propensity to go overboard from time to time and allow sober musical judgment to be replaced by distasteful squawking. Otherwise, Catalano has plenty to say, and says it with equal parts intelligence and emotion. Brecker adds his voice on “Night and Day,” “Hey You!” and “Pins ‘n’ Needles,” and a persuasive one it is, skating nimbly around and through the changes to fashion solos that are models of propriety and awareness. Randy must have felt right at home, as there’s more than a trace of brother Michael Brecker’s fiery tenor phrasings (as well as Chris Potter’s) in Catalano’s arsenal. The studio date includes two duos, with Catalano accompanied by Pickens on “I Can’t Get Started” and Spencer on “Scrapple.” The first seems on the whole inspired, the second largely indifferent (which may be why its playing time is only 2:15). Catalano’s compositions — “Hey You!” (with its “Salt Peanuts” opening), “Pins ‘n’ Needles,” the bluesy “Spill It” — are brisk but basic themes that are quickly forgotten and easily overshadowed by the above­mentioned standards and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind” (performed, like “Spill It,” by Catalano and the rhythm section). A sturdy blowing session that marks another solid step forward in Catalano’s development.

Contact:Chicago Lakeside Jazz, P. O. Box 1952, Lombard, IL 60148 (phone 630­424­0801; fax 630­424­0806; web site, www.cljazz.com)

Track Listing: Night and Day; I Can

Personnel: Frank Catalano, tenor saxophone; Randy Brecker, trumpet, flugelhorn; Willie Pickens, piano; Larry Gray, bass; Joel Spencer, drums.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Chicago Lakeside Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Love Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Day and Night" CD/LP/Track Review Day and Night
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Dreamland Mechanism" CD/LP/Track Review Dreamland Mechanism
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!