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With his 12-piece big band, Matt Catingub aims this second Big Kahuna album toward the baby boomer generation. With music, of course, those timelines are never distinct. "And the Angels Sing" and "In the Mood" come from an earlier, swinging generation. The television themes from I Dream of Jeannie and Hawaii Five-O combine with "Fever" and "Tequila" to represent the boomer generation fairly well. Catingub writes the band's stirring arrangements and doubles on alto saxophone & piano. He sings a few entertaining numbers; however, it's not his strength. Catingub sings with a relaxed ease, but is far from convincing. He prefers to share the vocal entertainment with his audience from a distance. On alto, however, the leader forges ahead with an in-your-face, soulful performance to rock any boat.
The album's high point comes on the Catingub's Latin jazz arrangement of "It Don't Mean a Thing," where soloists Doug Beavers and Mike Olmos add thrills. Always full of energy on saxophone, Catingub controls the band's intensity – mostly up-tempo for swing dancing. A big surprise comes from his arrangement of "In the Mood," which is presented as a slow, hot blues. The band and vocalists are able to interpret this one with powerful expression. Guest vocalists Rosemary Clooney and Debby Boone add a distinctive flavor to the session. Recorded late last year, Catingub's hula fest combines favorite glimpses from both the swing and go-go generations. It's fun.
Track Listing: Hawaii Five-O; Fever; Ain't No Big Thing; Avalon; Hey Baby! (Shake Those Hula Hips!); It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing); Princess Poo-Poo-Ly Has Plenty Papaya; I Dream of Jeannie; And the Angels Sing; Waikiki; In the Mood; Little Grass Shack; It Was a Very Good Year; Tequila.
Personnel: Matt Catingub- leader, vocals, alto saxophone, piano; Albert Alva, Jeff Prinz- alto saxophone; Matt Cowan- tenor saxophone; Jennifer Lovejoy- baritone saxophone; Dave Scott, Brian Kettelhut, Mike Olmos- trumpet; Doug Beavers, Greg Saul- trombone; Dan Parenti- acoustic bass; Steve Moretti- drums; Rosemary Clooney- vocal on "And the Angels Sing;" Alex Budman- alto saxophone on "Waikiki;" Julie Waters- background vocals & running commentary on "In the Mood;" Maxine Waters, Orrin Waters- background vocals on "In the Mood;" Debby Boone- vocal on "Princess Poo-Poo-Ly Has Plenty Papaya" and "Little Grass Shack;" John Bayless, Maria Ferrer- background vocals on "Tequila."
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.