Album Reviews

Frank Catalano

Bye Bye Blackbird

Artist:     Frank Catalano

Album:     Bye Bye Blackbird

Label:     Ropeadope

Release Date:     05/27/2016

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Saxophonist Frank Catalano pays tribute to fellow Chicagoan saxophonists Von Freeman and Eddie Harris on this new set of standards, old and new. Alto sax man David Sanborn trades licks on two of the six tracks, the title cut and the soul-jazz classic “Sugar,” and the two come something close to magic.

Catalano’s group tours with Smashing Pumpkins, and Catalano himself has maintained a close friendship with Pumpkins’ drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, who infuses his own take into this music. Blues and funk often underlay Catalano’s Chicago-based horn sound, and Demos Petropoulos on Hammond B3 pushes the sound in that direction more than most jazzmen would. The music on this Bye Bye Blackbird—as most good music does—draws from a variety of genres, a habit that stands Catalano in good stead when he plays Etta James (“At Last”) or Miles Davis (“All Blues”) or when he sits in with Beyoncé and John Legend.

– Suzanne Cadgène

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