Notes From The Jazz Underground Stays Close To Home

There's always a local component to Notes From The Jazz Underground, but this week's show stayed particularly close to home, featuring a ton of Chicago Jazz and and interview with sax player Frank Catalano.

Frank spoke with host Paula Abella about his new project with Percy Jones (Brand X, Brian Eno, Soft Machine) and Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins) and he played a couple of tracks off of their soon to be released disc.  Unfortunately, those tracks aren't available to stream on our Spotify playlist, but we've discovered a nice video of Catalano and wonder-drummer Paul Wertico that will have to suffice.

Of course, Paul has access to a ton of records that even Spotify can't match, so we also stuck performance videos by Kick The Cat (badass Chicago fusion that at one time featured Umphrey's McGee's Kris Meyers) and Canadian hip-hop / jazz outfit BADBADNOTGOOD after the playlist on this page.

Local crossover jam-jazz artists like Fareed Haque, Joe Marcinek, Bonzo Terks and Spare Parts also get the nod this week. On the flip side, Charles Earland (who made Tinley Park his home in the latter years of his life), Matt Ulery (we had to substitute his track on the playlist) and the absolutely bad ass Hypnotic Brass Band are also featured.

Paul says, "I'd say for jam band folks trying to reach across the aisle into jazz, Chris Greene's band is a great place to start. Funky as all get out, plays odd meter stuff that doesn't feel odd at all, all four of them are great writers. Just a killing band."

But the one track that really turned my head was by Frank Russell. "Frank's an old school fusion guy, and he plays like it," Paul explains. "Monster bass player, music is just ripping and his band just completely rocks. I can't see how anyone that gets into Return To Forever or Weather Report or Miles' fusion era stuff wouldn't absolutely adore Frank. Not to mention, absolutely the nicest guy you'd ever meet."

Beyond that, this was a pretty darned eclectic show: A Tribe Called Quest, a dubstep (a Barn Presents first!) remix of some Ella Fitzgerald, old school fusion from Freddie Hubbard and a solo piano take on The Cranberries' Zombie.

Notes From The Jazz Underground runs Friday nights on WDCB 90.9 FM.  Going forward, we'll try to have these playlists up the Monday after it airs (and so far, we suck at that).

Kick The Cat

Frank Catalano & Paul Wertico


Complete Playlist:

Song Artist Album
Gritty Folk Derrick Hodge Live Today
Ham and Eggs A Tribe Called Quest People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Serenade to a Cuckoo Frank Catalano not released
You Did What? Paul Wertico & Frank Catalano Topics of Conversation
Sona Frank Catalano not released
Black Talk Charles Earland Black Talk
Blue Skies (Maya Jane Coles Remix) Ella Fitzgerald Verve Remixed: The First Ladies
Adamantium (part III) Chris Greene Quartet Soul and Science 2: Electric Boogaloo
Noble Street Five Frank Russell Circle Without End
Carry On Fareed Haque Carry On
Hash House Kick the Cat Weirdo
Epistrophy Russell Gunn Ethnomusicology Volume 2
Travelling Suite III Spare Parts Bright Minor
Coriander Matt Ulery Wake An Echo
Windjammer Freddie Hubbard Windjammer
Both Sides Joe Marcinek Band Both Sides
CMYK Bad Bad Not Good BBNG2
Starfighter Hypnotic Brass Band Bulletproof Brass
River Monster Bonzo Terks Quartet
Zombie ELEW Rockjazz Volume 2
Without A Face Todd Clouser's A Love Electric Entre: Selections in Garage Jazz

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 2.59.12 PM

Related Stories