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Frank Catalano: Mighty Burner

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The title of Frank Catalano’s latest recording references the late Hammond B3 master Charles Earland, with whom Catalano had the opportunity to play several years back. But it also describes the 27-year-old tenor sax player’s own take-no-prisoners approach on this recording. Featuring four tracks from a set at the Green Mill in Catalano’s hometown of Chicago and another track recorded at the Windy City’s Edgewater Lounge, the CD showcases Catalano in full attack mode on tenor. Backed by pianist Vijay Tellis-Nayak, bassist Matt Thompson and powerhouse drummer Robert Gay, Catalano churns relentlessly through one inventive solo after another.

Catalano’s wailing tenor is front and center throughout this tour de force performance. The only question is whether listeners will have the stamina to keep up with Catalano’s unflagging intensity. But for those who love burly, bar-honking tenor sax that’s heavy on bebop and blues, this one’s for you.

In addition to the buzzsaw live tracks, there’s one studio cut, a version of “Mighty Burner” remixed by producer Maurice Joshua, known for his work with R&B acts Destiny’s Child and John Legend. Here Catalano smoothes out his funk-but still brings the heat-in a house-style mix.