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Good Reviews

[Updated 7/20/99]

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Not since Ella Fitzgerald met Joe Pass on stage has there been so felicitious a mating as Tuck & Patti.

    - Leonard Feather

I'm gonna get Ella and come after you guys!

    - Joe Pass

The best duo on the planet!

    - Bobby McFerrin

Nice suit, Tuck!

    - Clark Terry

Tuck & Patti are one of this country's enduring treasures.

    - CNN Interactive (Best albums of 1998 and all that jazz)

It doesn't get any better than this.

    - Bernie Grundman, mastering Learning How To Fly

Tuck Andress is a world-class guitarist, but he's also imbued with the rare gift of good taste. His musical partner and wife, Patti Cathcart, is an uncommonly soulful and inventive jazz stylist and among the best scat singers since Ella Fitzgerald. Together they create magic, a kind of jazzy chamber music that's deceptively simple on the surface but reveals layers of subtle complexity with each additional listening. Check out the faint echoes of flamenco on Andress's solo showcase "I've grown Accustomed to Her Face" and the double-time bass runs he adds to Dan Hicks's "Walkin' One and Only." Or witness the grace notes Cathcart effortlessly drops into her dynamic vocals on "When We're Alone" and the breathless sensuality she brings to the Drifters' "Dance with Me" and Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."

    - j. poet, Amazon.com

If ever a musical pair embodied the term "simpatico" it would be guitarist Tuck Andress and singer Patti Cathcart. A do-it-yourself effort produced by the couple, Paradise Found is an exuberant song-cycle: a joyous affirmation of love that is not cloying or pretentious. The duo's knack for original interpretations of other people's songs remains their strong suit. Scant vocalists have the chops to handle the intricacies of a Laura Nyro tune, but Patti's delicate, breathy version of "Captain for Dark Mornings" makes Nyro's tune her own. Patti isn't afraid to contour her vocal stylings to enhance the material, proving to be a match for such heavyweights as Anita Baker (on the seductive "All This Love"), Anita O'Day (on Dan Hicks's "Walking One And Only"), and Cleo Laine (the Brazilian-flavored "Lembranças" has Patti singing in a wispy tremolo reminiscent of Laine herself). Andress, whose complex, multilayered fretwork make him a force, can evoke shades of Earl Klugh (as on the Al Green classic, "Let's Stay Together") or the legendary Wes Montgomery (on Lerner and Loewe's "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face"). Unencumbered yet passionate arrangements display the sort of panache that elevate Tuck and Patti above the "jazz brunch" moniker, and underscore their music's timeless beauty.

    - David Gérard, Boston Globe

More than 20 years into their marriage and musical partnership, Tuck & Patti continue to make beautiful and impressive music together while nicely preserving the art of minimalism.

Paradise Found, their latest release, once again features Patti's breathy, warm, inviting voice — which she easily changes from sultry to commanding to fit the album's variety of ballads and pop tunes. Tuck's subdued yet intricate guitar work carefully molds around her lush voice. His playing enhances Patti's vocals but never intrudes, giving the album an intimate and easy-to-listen-to feel.

Paradise Found opens with the light, upbeat, and Brazilian-flavored "Lembranças," which showcases Patti's verasatile voice as she reaches for high notes while weaving between Tuck's easy-going strumming and Mark Miller's high-pitched soprano saxophone. The album's title track, a reworked cover of Minnie Ripperton's "Adventures in Paradise," finds Patti setting an even-tempered tone with a laid-back melody. She then switches into a fast-paced, earthy scat and, finally, closes with a series of slower, softer notes. The couple serves the late Laura Nyro's "Captain for Dark Mornings" with respect, slowing it down to a poignant and delicate pace. Paradise Found captures the many faces of this duo. And whether it be subtle ballads, upbeat pop tunes, or well-known covers, they handle each song with a new and refreshing approach.

    - Meryl Kubrick, Jazziz

Before & After
[Leni Stern, before and after being told that she was listening to Tuck & Patti's "I Will" (from Paradise Found):]

BEFORE: (responds to one soulful nuance with a long swooning howl) Ooooooooh! Is that Jonathan Butler? No? It's a woman? Is that her playing guitar? Good, you had me worried there for a second. Is it Cassandra [Wilson]? No, it's Joni Mitchell...just kidding. It's great. Ooooooooh! Such soul! Is it Tuck & Patti? She is bad, bad, bad, bad!!! So is he. Oh man! Listen to those harmonics, Tuck. Damn!

AFTER: What a great track! One of the hardest things in life is to play a Beatles song and really move somebody with it and add something to it. But boy, that is a beautiful track. Man, Tuck is bad. I love the way it was recorded too. His guitar is really bright and light and the voice is deep and rich. Girrrrrrl...you can sing! Oh yeah! I would've married her too if I were her guitar player. I'm sorry!

    - Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times 12/98

Tuck and Patti Release Astounding Duet CD

Talk about simplicity. One of the simplest yet most expressive forms in music has always been the duet. Right from the first duet between the classical lutenist and soprano — pop music of its time, we humans have always dug a good duet.

Tuck & Patti aren't your ordinary duet team, however. Patti Cathcart has one of the warmest, richest voices in jazz. Her honey-toned, nimble vocals are matched by her partner and husband Tuck Andress' guitar artistry. With his technique of plucking, strumming and slapping the strings, often with both hands, he makes the guitar sound like several people playing together, not just one.

On their new CD, Paradise Found, Tuck & Patti are right in form. They sound most natural and divine with just the two of them bouncing off each other in inspired ways — as, for example, on their version of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." A few songs feature a full band — something they've experimented with in recent years — and those sound fine too.

    - Fort Sill, OK Cannoneer

One voice and One Guitar

Tuck Andress and Patti Cathcart have made gorgeous music together with just these two instruments for over ten years for a small, but devoted, population of fans.

I remember being blown away by the first single I heard back in 1988, "Tears of Joy," with Patti scatting her heart out and Tuck wailing so gently but mercilessly on his guitar. I was drawn to Patti's silky voice — she quickly joined the ranks of my all-time vocal heroes.

Tuck & Patti's cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" was so unbelievable I can't even listen to the original anymore.

Their live performance at Shank Hall in 1989 in support of their Love Warriors album literally made my spine tingle. The crowd was stunned by their pure, individual talents, and by the amazing sound they produced by bringing those talents together.

They would just go off during a song and start making it up as they went along, and we all simply marveled at their skill and wondered why they weren't playing a football stadium or Central Park. It is still my absolute favorite concert I have ever attended.

The lucky few who have become fans will be glad to know that Tuck & Patti have released a new album. Hopefully, some new ears will be graced by the released singles and learn of this incredible duo.

Paradise Found has some new original compositions, such as "Forgiveness," a tenderly sung bluesy piece about finding peace.

But their specialty in my mind is reinventing covers of songs that render the originals obsolete.

It's an accepted musical law that Al Green should pretty much be left alone. Tina Turner tried it, and it was fair, but didn't hold a candle in the big picture.

Buy this album just for the cover of "Let's Stay Together." It's even sexier than the original, if you can believe that possible.

The cover of "Dance With Me" is simply dreamy. It's the stuff that romantic film scenes are made of.

Never before have I heard artists toy with songs that just shouldn't be covered, and end up surpassing the original.

Rod Stewart would be wise to listen to these two.

    - Robin Lickel, University of Wisconsin Post

Prior Tuck, Patti Was Good Enough, But Present's Better

The title of Tuck and Patti's latest album, "Paradise Found," suggests a state of completion and contentment that resonates throughout their music. Celebrating two decades of performing together, the husband-and-wife duo — Tuck Andress is a fine guitarist with a thick, ringing tone and Patti Cathcart a soulful singer with a husky, burnished voice — has created an oeuvre encompassing the romantic, sensual and spiritual dimensions of love.

Blissful Souls

Combining jazz-based improvisation with gospel phrasing and pop melodic hooks, the duo's new Windham Hill album continues their journey into emotional bliss. Since the release of its phenomenally successful 1988 debut, Tears of Joy, the couple has refined an almost telepathic musical connection while expanding its repertoire with original material and well-chosen pop and soul tunes...

    - Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News

The Jazzy song stylings of Tuck & Patti sound as fresh as ever on their new album Paradise Found (Windham Hill). Tuck's amazing layered jazz guitar shredding is the perfect complement to the deep soulful voice of Patti. This album is full of a surprising choice of cover songs, and some incredible originals. If The Kennedys and Leni Stern are working for you, Tuck & Patti will fit in easily among your currents. We liked every track, but the best are Laura Nyro's "Captain For Dark Mornings," "When We're Alone," "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," "Forgiveness," and "Let's Stay Together."

    - FMQB (Friday Morning Quarterback)

This husband and wife team return to the recording scene after far too long an absence with their fifth and finest offering to date — a collection of heartfelt love songs and moving ballads that fast remind you how real and strong love can be. With Tuck on guitar and Patti wrapping her tender vocals around each chord, the two fuse together as one and create their own, unique sound that has been winning over fans for more than a decade. Their blend of sophisticated jazz is reminiscent of the 40s teaming of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass. On the title track, even the most jaded of lovers will feel inspired. "All This Love" will make you swoon, and "Let's Stay Together" is as moving as it is heart-grabbing. Refreshing, inspiring and moving, this is truly paradise found.

    - Hero, West Hollywood, CA

Tuck (Andress) and Patti (Cathcart), husband and wife, blend her voice and his guitar exquisitely.... The musical bond they achieve on stage is breathtaking.

    - News-Times, Danbury, CT

FROM OUR ARCHIVES

Tuck Andress is half of the contemporary jazz duo, Tuck and Patti, and on Hymns, Carols and Songs about Snow he shows off his stellar guitar chops. Versatile elegance abounds as Andress breathes new life on solo guitar into standards like "Winter Wonderland" and "Ave Maria." This disc came out in 1991, but it's always a favorite listen by the fire. Highly recommended.

    - The Wilton Villager, 12/18/97

Tears Of Joy (Windham Hill)

A few years back one of my musician friends took me to hear Tuck Andress, the best undiscovered guitar player in the world. Tuck opened the set with an instrumental that often had three rhythms and two melodies going at the same time. He bent notes, comped chords, hammered on phrases and let loose with flurries of improvised notes that danced around the room like soap bubbles fulla laughing gas.

After his amazing display of pyrotechnics he was joined by his wife Patti Cathcart, and they played a version of Bob Dourough's "Takes My Breath Away" that did just that. Patti did everything with her vocal chords that Tuck did on the guitar and by the end of their set I was stoned on the kind of musicianship that you get to see maybe a half a dozen times in your life, if you're lucky.

Later on, I asked my friend if Tuck & Patti had anything on wax. I had to hear them again to make sure I wasn't having some hallucination of musical perfection. He told me that Tuck & Patti were making demos in their basement studio.

This LP gives you those demos with no overdubs or studio tricks, just Tuck & Patti singin' and playin' like they do every weekend and it's as magical as that still remembered evening. Incredible guitar playing by Tuck, emotive singing by Patti that'll take your breath away and spare production that flashes like the sparks Tuck & Patti set off in yer mind. One of the year's best. Buy it.

    - j. poet, The Daily Californian 5/4/88

Picture a double date of Wes Montgomery and Michael Hedges cruising around with Ella Fitzgerald and Roberta Flack, in a rag top Chevy driven by Bobby McFerrin. Now paste that image into the Wheeler Opera House, and you may come close to imagining the performances coming up tonight and tomorrow of the world renowned jazz duo Tuck and Patti....

T & P are no strangers to the "art for art's sake" free-form improvisations that, unfortunately, have found themselves increasingly distant from today's "instant gratification" pop rock renderings. Certainly, jazz, in general, has held respectfully true to this magical approach to music-making. But, it's been a long, long time since the idiom manifested itself in a fashion so sweetly elegant, so tangibly romantic, so viscerally emotional....

[Tuck's] hammered-on technique, styled with a colorfully harmonic quiltwork, is visually beyond comprehension and audibly tantalizing. A simple caveat: Be prepared for an unavoidable jaw drop. This percussive and eludingly complex guitar work provides a satiny pillow of support for the smoky vocal gems of his wife and cohort.

Enter Patti, with the vocal candor of a Sunday morning choir, the unbridled energy of Tina Turner, and the emotive passion of Mahalia Jackson. She drives, pitches, croons, and scats with a deeply anchored resonance that immediately pervades her listeners.

Her spirited compassion finds itself equally directed at both Tuck and the audience. The result is an intimate musical conversation that involves everyone, moves everyone, shakes everyone. "We want people to leave feeling like something has happened," Patti insists. When asked how she would describe these two appearances in Aspen, she answers, simply, "a good time." In short, the show will amount to a large-scale, jazzed-up gospel revival, in a small package. They need nothing more than a guitar, a voice, and an audience to enjoy their blissful parity....

    - Colin Mangham, Aspen Times 12/30/93