THE CATZ IN THE HATZ
BIG BEAR LAKE
California, United States
GRADY HARP / AMAZON.COM MUSIC REVIEWER
THE CATZ IN THE HATZ is a difficult CD to classify: it is part nostalgia, part hilarious humor, part terrific scat singing, a lot of really warm crooning, and a showcase for some amazing talent! The only thing that feels missing from this experience is the visual - that is, watching these five gifted men strut their inimitable stuff on a stage. But given a CD format, the other flavors are all here.
The amazing vocal lead of this jazz group is Steve Johnson, a man with talent to burn and a vocal range to compete with any baritone around. He sings with the old style of MEANING all the lyrics and playing with the familiar melodies making them all his own. This is a voice so mellow and so pitch-true that everything else about Johnson's renditions seems like gravy. He traverses the oldies but goodies such as 'My Funny Valentine', 'Lucky So and So', 'One for my Baby', 'Angel Eyes' and an incredible 'It Was a Very Good Year'.
But Steve Johnson is only one fifth of this fine ensemble. Each of the other troupers here is masterful in his own right: Mike Cross (just catch his take on Beethoven's 'Fur Elise' - a real parody and the essence of jazz1), Mike Wiens, Guitar, Steve Boggio, Drums, and Terry Copley, Bass (and the 'strings' are on finely wrought synthesizers).
Sit back and play this fine album repeatedly and re-visit the days of fine music in a respectful, warm jazz beat! It is a must have! Grady Harp, March 07
UM : RESILIENCE
RATING: 5 STARS OUT OF 5