Artist: Frank Catalano

Album: Havana Nu Beat Suite

Release Date: 2015-09-29

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about the album



Ropeadope Records is proud to release Havana Nu Beat Suite to music lovers everywhere. Saxman Frank Catalano wanted to honor the great citizens of Havana by creating a 6 movement suite. With hypnotic percussion, complex harmony and soft counterpoint throughout, Catalano describes the vibe of this body of work as Avant-Trance. With a great deal of multi-layer improvisation as opposed to traditional soloing, this recording utilizes a saxophone ensemble or 'choir' as Catalano prefers to call it. Havana Nu Beat features many rare and vintage saxophones ranging from sopranino to bass and also includes Catalano's insanely scarce 1929 Conn-o-sax in the key of F. A few years ago, The New York Times did a feature on Catalano's sax collection and his patented saxophone midi device, which was invented out of necessity after his right middle finger was cut off in a tragic accident. Catalano is truly in love with all things saxophone.

Two of Catalano's heroes are notable collaborators on this project. Trumpet Legend Randy Brecker has been mentoring, recording and performing with Catalano for over 20 years. Brecker's solos are virtuosic and inspiring. "I think of Randy as a musical Ironman, there is nothing he can't do," says Catalano. "He really has been a big brother figure to me. My whole family loves him. He was on the other side of the world when Sona and I were married and he took the time to send a sweet video... Randy is truly in a class all his own." Pulitzer prize winning saxophone genius, Ornette Coleman took a liking to Catalano some time ago while discussing their love of JodyJazz saxophone mouthpieces.  Ornette helped shape Catalano's approach to music and life. "Ornette has a kind, gentle, loving soul that is so big at the same time. I would describe it as a quiet power. The quiet storm. He is the only person I have met like that. I grew up in a violent household so I was used to people yelling, screaming and hitting all the time to get a point across. Ornette became someone that I wanted to be like as a human being. I felt happy and tranquil just standing near him. Also, the reason I received my degree in music composition was because Ornette stressed the importance of composing. Ornette influenced Coltrane....Not much else to say but Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to Ornette!" Says Catalano.

One critic said 'Havana Nu Beat Suite' reminded him of 'In a Silent Way' by Miles Davis. New York City Jazz Record likened Catalano's Love Supreme Collective with Ornette Coleman's Prime Time Ensemble. Undoubtedly, The legend and legacy continue.

about the artist

Frank 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 appeared on three Grammy-winning and 11 Grammy-nominated recordings with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, and John Legend. He recently performed live on the Oprah Winfrey TV show with singer/composer Seal. No stranger to adversity, Frank lost his right middle finger in an automobile accident. After several surgeries and tremendous effort, Catalano relearned his signature technique and is touring consistently.