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January/February 2009

Tuck & Patti
I Remember You
Miles High

Inspired by Ella Fitzgerald’s pairings with Joe Pass, Patti Cathcart and Tuck Andress have made their first, full-length foray into the Great American Songbook, and the results are expectedly lovely. There is, of course, little similarity between Fitzgerald and Cathcart. There’s no comparing a tornado to a soft, summer breeze. Instead, though she is tonally lighter, brighter and purer, Cathcart bears a striking vocal resemblance to British jazz icon Cleo Laine. And just as it’s difficult to imagine Laine without husband and collaborator John Dankworth, it is, after 29 years of performing, 26 years of marriage and two decades of shared recordings (spanning more than a dozen albums and compilations) impossible to consider Patti without Tuck.

Slowly wading through a cache of classic love songs, Tuck and Patti shape velvety, lace-trimmed valentines of “The Very Thought of You,” “When I Fall in Love, “Embraceable You,” “A Foggy Day,” “In a Sentimental Mood” and a half-dozen others, with Andress best demonstrating his guitar virtuosity on a solo turn through “It Might as Well Be Spring.” Some might find 43 continuous minutes of such mellow, mellifluous romanticism a bit soporific, but I find the album’s effect intoxicating.

Originally published in January/February 2009
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