Frank Catalano: Cut It Out!?!

Nineteen-year-old Catalano lives up to his billing (i.e., liner notes by veteran drummer Louie Bellson) on this debut album. Reminiscent of Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Mike Brecker, Dewey Redman, and Archie Shepp, the Chicago tenor, soprano, and sopranino saxophonist has it together both technically and emotionally. Heading up a quartet (pianist Willie Pickens, bassist Brain Sandstrom, drummer Robert Shy or Rusty Jones) – plus, on two cuts, guest trumpeter and flutist Ira Sullivan, Catalano impresses you with his mature, swinging improvisation.

His tenor bursts in unaccompanied on “Confirmation,” romps through a saw-toothed original called “Those Wacky Ways,” handles Monk’s “I Mean You” with authority, and offers JATP-style shouting on another original called “Party Time.” Sullivan demonstrates fluid bop trumpet and fine ideas on the Monk piece. Pickens is masterful throughout the session.