Singletrack: Frank Catalano

"Sona" from the album XXX

I wrote this song for my wife last year. I had just been in a bad car accident thanks to a drunk driver and I was in a very reflective mood. I was happy to be alive, but I was in a lot of pain with significant injuries and I wanted to write something special for Sona. As a saxophonist, I have always loved the challenge of expressing moods, emotions and feelings with out using words. Bending the pitch of the notes, vibrato, false fingerings can all help shade the saxophone's notes, but heart and feeling is always king. I also like to direct my airstream in varied ways to add some grit and body to the sound.

For this recording, I asked my friend Jimmy Chamberlin to play drums. Jimmy is best known as the long-time drummer for The Smashing Pumpkins. He definitely knows how to propel a song with vibe, texture and grace.  Bass legend Percy Jones added a few passes, and really added a bunch of colors and textures—almost like a one-man string quartet. I brought in my long time pianist Scott Williams to fill out the harmony.

I hope Sona likes it. :)

On this track:
Frank Catalano, saxophone
Jimmy Chamberlin, drums
Percy Jones, bass
Scott Williams, piano

Frank Catalano made his Savoy label debut with “Bang!” at #12 on the Billboard Jazz Charts. Frank’s previous CD, “Mighty Burner” was on the Billboard Charts for 20 straight weeks. Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Von Freeman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool and Louis Bellson while still in high school! This led to his signing to Delmark Records at age 18 and a string of critically acclaimed recordings. Catalano has been heard by millions of people all over the world thanks in part to three Grammy-winning, and 11 Grammy-nominated, recordings with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, and John Legend. He has performed live on the Oprah Winfrey TV show with singer/composer Seal.

When not on tour or in the studio, Frank enjoys composing classical music. Frank graduated from DePaul University with a BA in music composition and he plays piano, drums and flute in addition to the saxophone. Frank’s non-musical interests include racing his BMW 1-series in closed-course competition.

"Singletrack" is CAR's Artist Story for Chicago musicians in which songwriters and bands discuss a song and how it came to be alongside audio or video clips of the work. To submit your song for consideration, please email the music researcher.

Published by CAR_BILL on Fri, 03/29/2013 - 1:11pm
Updated on Wed, 04/03/2013 - 8:38am