From Samoa to Sinatra • Dedicated to and featuring Mavis Rivers – Matt Catingub

From Samoa to Sinatra • Dedicated to and featuring Mavis Rivers – Matt Catingub

Label: Summit Records

Release date: May '23

Catalog number: 813


It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)*
comp: Irving Mills/Duke Ellington
This Could Be It
comp: Johnny White
I Remember You
comp: Irving Mills/Victor Schertzinger
Get Out and Get Under The Moon
comp: Charles Tobias & William Jerome/Larry Shay
On Second Thought *
comp: Carolyn Leigh/Cy Coleman
People Will Say We're in Love **
comp: Oscar Hammerstein II/Richard Rodgers
There's No You *
comp: Tom Adair/Hal Hopper
You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
comp: Cole Porter
comp: Gene Lees/Antonio Carlos Jobim
The Best is Yet to Come *
comp: Carolyn Leigh/Cy Coleman
All My Tomorrows
comp: Sammy Can/Jimmy Van Heusen
Honeysuckle Rose
comp: Andy Razaf/Fats Waller
In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening
comp: Johnny Mercer/Hoagy Carmichael
Pick Yourself Up
comp: Dorothy Fields/Jerome Kern
Bonus Track | Medley: Away in A Manger/Hark! The Herald Angels Sing *
comp: Trad.

Vocals, Alto Sax, Piano – Matt Catingub

with Mavis Rivers (tracks 1,5,7,10,15)*;

with Amy Hanaiali’i (track 6)**


This is the ultimate tribute from son (Matt) to and WITH his mother, Mavis Rivers, the first female signed to Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records label…

Award winning jazz performer, saxophonist, vocalist, pianist, arranger, composer, and world renowned orchestra Pops conductor, Matt Catingub wears many hats. At age 17 he performed and presented his original big band compositions at the Monterey Jazz Festival. As a result of his success he then toured Japan playing with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Thad Jones, and Ruth Brown. In his early years Matt, along with his famous mother, travelled and performed throughout the world, highlighted by a performance at the 1983 Royal Variety Performance for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. Right out of high school Catingub joined the big bands of Louie Bellson and Toshiko Akiyoshi, and at age 21 he formed his own Big Band, with his mom as vocalist, and recorded several critically acclaimed albums. In 1995 Matt made his solo singing debut at the Frank Sinatra Celebration at Carnegie Hall, alongside Linda Ronstadt and Rosemary Clooney. He also wrote and performed the music for the Grammy Award winning soundtrack to the George Clooney film, “Goodnight and Good Luck”. Since then Matt has recorded and toured as a solo artist, with his own neo-swing big band, and as a popular Symphonic Pops Conductor throughout the world.

Nominated as Best New Artist at the very first Grammy Awards, Mavis Rivers career was Landmark. After the nomination, and after recording three acclaimed LPs for the Capitol Records label, her label mate Frank Sinatra decided to create Reprise Records. The very first female vocalist he signed, whom Sinatra nicknamed his “Swinging Lady”, was Samoan-born Mavis Rivers. As a result, Mavis entered the studio in the late 1960s to record what would be one of the first three initial releases on Sinatra’s Reprise Records. Amazingly, Mavis at the time was very pregnant (with MATT); you’ll hear those vocals on this recording!

An impressive big band and string orchestra lay the foundation for this powerful tribute to Mavis Rivers by and from her son, Matt Catingub – complete with Matt singing along side his mother (Rivers) on five tunes though the magic of the studio. (Her vocals extracted from her early ‘albums’…) The creation of this project has been a life-long ambition of Matt’s. It honors the music of both his incredible jazz vocal- ist “mommy”, and one of the people he admired most musically and in life, the one and only Mr. Frank Sinatra. Each song was carefully selected for its relevance to each of these artists, as well as their place along the journey.


Alto Saxes – Alex Budman, Tammy Danielson

Tenor Sax – Larry Cook

Baritone Sax – Pat Beliveau

Trumpets – Dave Scott, Joel Spanky Gray, Jens Lindemann

Trombones – Alex Isles, Brien Matson

Bass – Kevin Axt

Drums – Steve Moretti

Strings performed by members of the Robert McDuffee Center For Strings at Mercer University, Amy Schwartz-Moretti, Director




This is an amazing album that is both historic and current in the same breath. It shines in this moment, featuring the wonderful vocals of multi-talented Matt Catingub.  He not only sings but plays piano and alto saxophone.  Matt is also the first-born son of the historic Samoan jazz vocalist, Mavis Rivers, who was the first artist signed to Frank Sinatra’s record label, Reprise Records.

In tribute to his astoundingly talented mother, Matt opens this album with “It Don’t mean A Thing (If it ain’t got that swing)” as a duet with Mavis Rivers. Thanks to the magic of studio technology, they were able to pull Ms. Rivers’ vocals off her original recorded tapes dating back to the 1960s.  It’s particularly poignant because historically, Rivers was pregnant with her son, Matt Catingub, at the time of that original recording.

Matt would grow up admiring his fabulous, jazz-singing mother, as well as Frank Sinatra.  You can hear this admiration in his phrasing.  In fact, His mother was the first artist Sinatra signed to his Reprise label and she was nominated as Best New Artist at the very first Grammy Awards debut.  What a wonderful legacy!

Matt Catingub has certainly followed in his mother’s footsteps.  He has both a pleasing voice and is a polished bandleader of an impressive big band (with strings).  When he sings “I Remember You” Catingub adds the lovely effect of string instruments that elevate this ballad arrangement.  He adds a few songs I was unfamiliar with including the swinger, “Get Out and Get Under the Moon” and “This could be It.”

Matt started touring with his mother as a child. This is where performing and entertaining became second nature to the young man. Clearly gifted, at age seventeen he presented his original big band compositions at the Monterey Jazz Festival. This was followed by a tour to Japan, playing with jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Thad Jones and vocalist, Ruth Brown. Before his mother passed away, the two of them entertained Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip in 1983.  Catingub was hired to work with Louie Bellson and Toshiko Akiyoshi as soon as he graduated from high school. In 1995, Matt made his solo singing debut during the Frank Sinatra Celebration at Carnegie Hall.  He was in fine company with Linda Ronstadt and Rosemary Clooney. When he isn’t touring, Matt Catingub is a popular Symphonic Pops conductor.  His composition skills shine like stars on the film that accompanied the George Clooney movie, “Goodnight and Good Luck.”  It became a Grammy Award winning score. This current album is a wonderful listening experience from start to finish. The big band arrangements soar and Matt Catingub’s vocals are smooth, emotional, and compelling.  Also, it’s a joy to hear Mavis Rivers vocalize and to enjoy the unique duets of mother and son.

-Musical Memoirs



Mavis Rivers is a singer who is too often overlooked when great pop/jazz vocalists are discussed. Her three albums, each on Capitol and Reprise, are gems. She passed on her musical genes to her son Matt Catingub. He is a multi- instrumentalist/vocalist/arranger/ band leader. On From Samoa to Sinatra (Summit—813), Catingub has created a wonderful tribute to his mother. He was able to isolate the vocal tracks from her Reprise albums to use as part of this album.

There are 15 tracks that feature scintillating new charts from Catingub. The songs are ones that he closely associates with Rivers, most of which she recorded. On some he has paired her original vocals with new arrangements. On others, he has combined her vocals with ones by him to for duo tracks. He has also used her voice as part of a vocal quartet, providing the other three voices himself. The band was recorded remotely during the pandemic by musicians located throughout the nation. This album provides shining examples of the vocal artistry of Rivers as well as an impressive display of range of talent possessed by Catingub.

-Joe Lang for Jersey Jazz