Matt Catingub

George Gershwin 100

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This CD should have been an easy success, for it features altoist-singer-arranger Matt Catingub and a top-notch big band full of top Los Angeles musicians performing George Gershwin songs. But the problem is that Catingub completely dominates the proceedings. Not only is Catingub constantly showcased on alto and occasionally piano, but he sings on ten of the 15 songs, and on three occasions overdubbed his voice to form his own vocal group. Catingub just has an average voice and his charts for the big band (which is mostly heard in a subsidiary role behind the star) sometimes border on the corny. There are a few short solos from trumpeters Steve Huffsteter and George Graham, trombonists Chauncey Welsch and Andy Martin, and altoist Gary Foster. There are also some guest appearances for Rosemary Clooney ("I've Got a Crush on You"), Michael Feinstein ("Home Blues" and "Slap That Bass"), John Pizzarelli ("Lady Be Good"), and drummer Louie Bellson, who sits in on "The Man I Love," but these do not create much of an impression. Overall, the music is flashy but without much substance. Catingub is capable of much better.

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