The catz in the hatz | Take One

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Take One

by The catz in the hatz

CLASSIC ROCK BAND TURNS TO JAZZ AND THIS IS THE RESULT . it's like frank sinatra meets the blues brothers.music for the young and old and REALLY old. he's hippest crooner on the block stevie johnson and a group of hyper musicians.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. World On a String
3:54 $0.99
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2. Ive Got You Under My Skin
4:14 $0.99
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3. Funny Valentine
4:29 $0.99
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4. Natureboy
7:17 $0.99
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5. Angel Eyes
3:20 $0.99
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6. Lucky So and So
9:37 $0.99
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7. Fever
5:05 $0.99
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8. One for My Baby ( and One More for the Road)
3:51 $0.99
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9. It Was a Very Good Year
4:36 $0.99
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10. Comin' Home
4:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
PLEASE VISIT US AT WWW.RHOMBUS-RECORDS.COM TO ORDER OUR NATIONAL DEBUT CD "RESILIENCE". THIS ALBUM IS ONLY AVAILABLE
THERE AND AMAZON.COM. ALSO VISIT WWW.MYSPACE.COM/CATZINTHEHATZ.

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Most of the members in this group have been playing rock and roll for the past 20 + and just recently made the jump to jazz. which make's their music that much more interesting. the catz have opened for both three dog night and America.. as the bass player for the group, i can tell you that of the 43 working bands ive been in, this one is by far the best. we are all good freinds and have known each other for years. on stage, it shows...we belive in not just giving a show ...but a circus..if people just wanted to hear music, they would stay home and stare at the stereo..we dont do that..we have natural fun and in turn, so does our audience. we are just like any other indie group..we recorded /produced /engineered our own cd that we do sell out of every weekend at our regular gig. yep...we all have day jobs and we were all in the hair bands of the 80's ya know tears for fears, mister mister, duran duran, heck, one of us even was in the disneyland marching band !! and one of us was school mates and still good freinds with actor edward james olmos. but now..its jazz for us...some of our old rock buddies say man jazz sucks !! well, i'll tell ya, i did 20 years every weekend of 20 yrs playing what was current but never alowed to be creative...not like this..so if your intrested to hear what ex rock and rollers sound like playing jazz, then check us out...one thing ive noticed.its alot quieter.. sometimes...oh and if you would like to go to our homepage and read some magazine reviews on us, then go to www.catzinhatz.com..you can see us live every weekend at the mandoline bistro in big bear lake california . the show starts at 8pm...till then, peace and love, ---terry copley( bass)

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For those of you who don't like reading reviews all the way through, I'll start off with the bottom line: You've got to hear this band.

Why? Quite simply because The Catz in the Hatz are the best thing to happen to jazz in the last two years.

Do I have your attention? Good - because this band blows the socks off 99 percent of what passes for jazz these days. And I'll say it again - you've got to hear them. Firmly rooted in straight-ahead, traditional jazz, the Catz aren't afraid to explore the relaxing groove that has fueled the jazz resurgence. And when they cook ... look Out. They like nothing better than turning jazz into an all-out party. No wonder they've been the toast of Big Bear for the last year and have often been called "the best kept jazz secret in Southern California."

That's all about to change. This bright spot on the jazz scene has released its first album, "take one", a collection of jazz. standards that combines sizzling instrumentals with the best of the Great American Songbook. leading the charge is front man Steve Johnson, whose smooth baritone could easily share the stage with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat Cole or Tony Bennett. It's the kind of voice tailor made for jazz at its lights-low romantic best and Johnson wrings every ounce out of such songs as Sinatra's 'One For My Baby," "Angel Eyes," and the classic "It Was a Very Good Year."

Johnson, in fact, learned Sinatra-style phrasing as a young boy, singing with his father in the family living room. And it has paid off handsomely. His voice can easily explore the romance in a song while maintaining the kind of edge that makes him a rarity-a jazz singer who can make a song his own.

But the fun doesn't stop there. The Catz aren't simply a phone-it-in backup band. These are seasoned musicians who love the music and know how to have fun with it. Guitarist Mike Wiens is often so smooth he makes jazz look deceptively easy. With a style that recalls Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery, Wiens can produce jaw-dropping solos that leave audiences screaming. Mike Cross, whose keyboards first fleshed out the Catz sound a year ago, is a 40-year piano veteran whose confidence and improvisation have inspired audiences and visiting musicians alike. Cross's solos easily bridge the straight-ahead sounds of Barry Harris and Jon Mayer with the more fun-loving approach of smooth jazz's David Benoit. It's a strong, self-assured approach that's always fresh and challenging.

The Catz in the Hatz also feature a dynamic rhythm section, featuring drummer Steve Boggio, whose solid timing and innovative solos make him an audience favorite. And bassist Terry Copley isn't a hang-out-in-the-corner bass player. He's all over the stage in live gigs, delivering solos with an originality, power and machine-gun energy reminiscent of the late Jaco Pastorius of Weather Report fame. Copley can also deliver on the quieter tunes, complimenting Johnson's dreamy vocals with a bass solo on "My Funny Valentine."

Add these elements up and you get some of the best cuts on this CD - Peggy Lee's "Fever," Mel Torme's "I'm Coming Home," Duke Ellington's "Lucky So and So," and what may be the best song on the album, Nat Cole's "Nature Boy," where Johnson's scatting is surrounded by seamless solos from the other band members. As jazz rushes back into the mainstream, its retro stylings have found a home with fans of Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall. But now things have taken a new turn with the Catz in the Hatz, a band that's putting the energy and style back into America's music. Want some feel good jazz laced with some of the best vocal work on the planet? These are the guys. The Catz in the Hatz have arrived. See them. Buy the CD. You won't be sorry. Ever.terry copley..bass..preformed with johnny rivers, jon andersen ( YES ) cannible and the head hunters, dick dale, lee oscar, donny brooks, gloria loring and more. steve boggio drums, played with celebrated swing band two tone riot. mike weins, guitar, preformed with queen latifa. mike cross, piano,worked at disneyland in both the marching band and the firehouse five jazz ensamble. steve johnson, vocals, has preformed with spike jones jr, and has been featured in many movies and tv shows. dream merchant magazine has called the catz in the hatz " the best kept jazz secret in southern california" . The catz are getting massive radio play here in the southern california mountains with cuts of their first cd " TAKE ONE" available at the gig. with over 120 years of stage experience, those of you who don't like reading reviews all the way through, I'll start off with the bottom line: You've got to hear this band. jazzpolice.com call the catz in the hatz " the best kept jazz secret in southern california".They're the best thing to come out of California since the gold rush!! Ok, ok yes I'm paid to write about artits for this website but hey I don't lie! I'm now a true blue Catz In The Hatz fan. But when you hear them or better yet SEE them you just can't help yourself. They put on a show that's funny, entertaining and filled with Jazz like you've NEVER heard before.

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Reviews


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ERIC SEAGER

STAR DUST-SPRINKLES JAZZ FAVORITES
COMMENTS : REVIEWED BY ERIC SEAGER ( independent music reviewer...

The Catz in the Hatz "Take One" (Catz in the Hatz Records)
Stardust-sprinkled jazz favorites played by genial weekend warriors for the Arthur Murray set. The marketing sound-bite for this SoCal-based quintet is "Jazz with an attitude" but with such foxtrot favorites as "I've Got You Under My Skin," "It Was a Very Good Year" and a baritone re-do of Peggy Lee's "Fever," the attitude (and sound) is pure Tony Bennett. Steve Johnson's (place pleasant adjective here) renderings bottle every puff of smoky piano and expel a record that will please everyone from great-granny to the most recent reality-TV-inspired ballroom converts. Shirley Jones and Dawn Wells of Gilligan's Island fame are among their converts, for what it's worth.
Read more...

arrisa owen turner

the makings of great music
Big Bear Grizzly
Wednesday, March 9, 2005

By ARRISSIA OWEN TURNER

The Mike Wiens Dream Band might be a better name for The Catz in the Hatz, jokes the band's vocalist Steve Johnson. But Big Bear Lake's best-known jazz band didn't start out so dreamy. When Larry Cummings, owner of The Mandoline Bistro, called Johnson looking for a jazz band, Johnson was in dream land when he said he had one. The rock musician had nothing close to a jazz band, but he did know an experienced jazz guitarist from Big Bear who spent most of his time playing Palm Springs' jazz clubs: Mike Wiens.

For Wiens, a steady gig in Big Bear sounded great. What he had to do to get it was closer to a nightmare. His two original bend co-members, Johnson and bassist Terry Copley, had no jazz experience, having played solely in rock bands since high school. But they did have an ear for it, and Johnson's baritone croon was suited to the style. Wiens saw potential.

That was more than a year ago. Now, thanks to the gig at The Mandoline, the band has fine tuned its chops, added two experienced jazz musicians-keyboardist Mike Cross and drummer Steve Boggio-and a record label. Rhombus Record picked up the band and hopes to cash in on jazz music's resurgence thanks to the likes of Nora Jones, Steve Tyrell, and Diana Krall, who helped jazz creep back into mainstream music, onto play lists of radio stations, and into a younger generation's iPods.

Johnson says "Rock is a tenor man's music." he says. "At our age, every one of us has arrived at where we are supposed to be. We do not have to conform to a salary. Everyone is on the right instrument and in the right position." Especially Johnson, who started out holding the drum sticks and the microphone. Now with Boggio on sticks, Johnson concentrates on working the crowd from the front. "That has opened so much more to me on stage," he says.

"I fell in love with the great American Songbook," Johnson says, lauding the greats like Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra he now pays tribute to. "I fell in love with the melodies." No more nights singing "Smoke on the Water" at dive bars for Wiens, Johnson or any of the other band members. And the audience couldn't be happier.

"What I love is that when someone does a great solo, people start applauding without me having to prod them necessarily," Johnson says. "I will be standing in the back and can see people watching Wiens' fingerwork." That sort of attention span is a big change from 30 years of chatter and clatter from beyond the stage.

"Playing with rock hands gets to be a drag after awhile," Wiens says, appreciative of leaving the rock scene behind. "People are there to get drunk and find someone to go home with." The band doesn't take its steady gig at The Mandoline lightly. The lounge's supper club feel helps create a relaxed atmosphere where the Catz in the Hatz perform best. "This is the perfect room for this," Johnson says. Cummings allows the band to use the space to rehearse, as well, which keeps them in their comfort zone.

Now with 150 songs in their repertoire, the band members chose 12 songs, which they recorded with their own arrangements. They kept in mind which songs are Mandoline audience favorites, like Sinatra's "Angel Eyes," "It Was a Very Good Year," "Under My Skin," "World on a String" and "One for My Baby," along with Cole's "Nature Boy" and Chet Baker's "My Funny Valentine." The latter was arranged by Wiens who added a daring bass solo for Copley. "I wanted to go in a different direction chord-wise," Wiens says. His vision worked.

The band also added the Peggy Lee favorite, "Fever," along with Mel Torme's "Comin' home," Duke Ellington's "Lucky So and So," and label mate Freddy hubbard's "Little Sunflower." Johnson has big plans for when the CD breaks. "My mom always said to think big," Johnson says. "I think big. When we make it, I'm going to buy The Mandoline and give it back to Larry."

Wiens is more humble. "I thought we'd be gone by now," he says. "Larry gets a lot of credit for sticking it out with us. We owe this to him. It was his suggestion, and he gave us this job and let us perfect ourselves." And no one is pinching themselves harder than Wiens, who hopes he never has to play "Smoke on the Water" the catz 20+ year vetrens of classic rock and made the change to jazz.
Read more...

arrisa owen turner

the makings of great music
Big Bear Grizzly
Wednesday, March 9, 2005

By ARRISSIA OWEN TURNER

The Mike Wiens Dream Band might be a better name for The Catz in the Hatz, jokes the band's vocalist Steve Johnson. But Big Bear Lake's best-known jazz band didn't start out so dreamy. When Larry Cummings, owner of The Mandoline Bistro, called Johnson looking for a jazz band, Johnson was in dream land when he said he had one. The rock musician had nothing close to a jazz band, but he did know an experienced jazz guitarist from Big Bear who spent most of his time playing Palm Springs' jazz clubs: Mike Wiens.

For Wiens, a steady gig in Big Bear sounded great. What he had to do to get it was closer to a nightmare. His two original bend co-members, Johnson and bassist Terry Copley, had no jazz experience, having played solely in rock bands since high school. But they did have an ear for it, and Johnson's baritone croon was suited to the style. Wiens saw potential.

That was more than a year ago. Now, thanks to the gig at The Mandoline, the band has fine tuned its chops, added two experienced jazz musicians-keyboardist Mike Cross and drummer Steve Boggio-and a record label. Rhombus Record picked up the band and hopes to cash in on jazz music's resurgence thanks to the likes of Nora Jones, Steve Tyrell, and Diana Krall, who helped jazz creep back into mainstream music, onto play lists of radio stations, and into a younger generation's iPods.

Johnson says "Rock is a tenor man's music." he says. "At our age, every one of us has arrived at where we are supposed to be. We do not have to conform to a salary. Everyone is on the right instrument and in the right position." Especially Johnson, who started out holding the drum sticks and the microphone. Now with Boggio on sticks, Johnson concentrates on working the crowd from the front. "That has opened so much more to me on stage," he says.

"I fell in love with the great American Songbook," Johnson says, lauding the greats like Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra he now pays tribute to. "I fell in love with the melodies." No more nights singing "Smoke on the Water" at dive bars for Wiens, Johnson or any of the other band members. And the audience couldn't be happier.

"What I love is that when someone does a great solo, people start applauding without me having to prod them necessarily," Johnson says. "I will be standing in the back and can see people watching Wiens' fingerwork." That sort of attention span is a big change from 30 years of chatter and clatter from beyond the stage.

"Playing with rock hands gets to be a drag after awhile," Wiens says, appreciative of leaving the rock scene behind. "People are there to get drunk and find someone to go home with." The band doesn't take its steady gig at The Mandoline lightly. The lounge's supper club feel helps create a relaxed atmosphere where the Catz in the Hatz perform best. "This is the perfect room for this," Johnson says. Cummings allows the band to use the space to rehearse, as well, which keeps them in their comfort zone.

Now with 150 songs in their repertoire, the band members chose 12 songs, which they recorded with their own arrangements. They kept in mind which songs are Mandoline audience favorites, like Sinatra's "Angel Eyes," "It Was a Very Good Year," "Under My Skin," "World on a String" and "One for My Baby," along with Cole's "Nature Boy" and Chet Baker's "My Funny Valentine." The latter was arranged by Wiens who added a daring bass solo for Copley. "I wanted to go in a different direction chord-wise," Wiens says. His vision worked.

The band also added the Peggy Lee favorite, "Fever," along with Mel Torme's "Comin' home," Duke Ellington's "Lucky So and So," and label mate Freddy hubbard's "Little Sunflower." Johnson has big plans for when the CD breaks. "My mom always said to think big," Johnson says. "I think big. When we make it, I'm going to buy The Mandoline and give it back to Larry."

Wiens is more humble. "I thought we'd be gone by now," he says. "Larry gets a lot of credit for sticking it out with us. We owe this to him. It was his suggestion, and he gave us this job and let us perfect ourselves." And no one is pinching themselves harder than Wiens, who hopes he never has to play "Smoke on the Water" the catz 20+ year vetrens of classic rock and made the change to jazz.
Read more...