Matt “Big Kahuna” Catingub is the jazzbo version of Jimmy Buffett. This, however, is not such a bad thing-that is, unless you consider music for Tiki bars a bad thing. The Hawaii-based big man (who croons, plays lead sax and does all the arrangements) and his swinging Copa Cat Pack just wanna get the silly shindig started and, more importantly, get those curiously strong mai tai’s flowing. There are no arrangement tricks to be found on the band’s new disc, Shake Those Hula Hips: Everything is loud and brassy and exactly where you’d expect it to be, and the island boys have no artistic qualms with getting goofy to the theme songs from Hawaii Five-O and I Dream of Jeannie. Guest vocalists Rosemary Clooney and Debby Boone (!) charmingly lend their pipes to “And the Angels Sing” and “Princess Poo-Poo-Ly Has Plenty Papaya,” respectively. And in case you missed the point on the endearing endeavor, the Big Kahuna closes the album with “Tequila.” Drink up!
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.