Tuck & Patti

Vocalist Patti Cathcart and guitarist Tuck Andress have been a steady performing duo for so long now, going on three decades, that it's somewhat surprising that I Remember You--their new T&P Records recording, licensed to Universal Music--zeroes in on the Great American Songbook. Surely they've already recorded their take on these enduring standards.

But no, it just seems so, seems as if everything they've written and recorded is already a standard. In their 11 previous releases, only a handful of tunes would fall under the typical, pre-rock era, standards banner.

Patti couldn't wait to dive into the project, released in Asia in October, 2007 and worldwide in January, 2008. "We meant to make this album a few years ago," she says, "but then I started writing songs for Taking the Long Way Home (my take on creating standards), so we never got around to recording it. Finally, with I Remember You, I could salute Ella, and Tuck could be the big band and the orchestra. The album is our tribute, a loving thank you to Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass for the path they started us on."

Sometimes when singing, Patti says she will suddenly remember there are people watching. "I become almost shy," she admits, "knowing I am all exposed, like I am naked in front of the audience. You are seeing our secret stuff, yet here we are! Our lives together are completely tied up in every one of those tunes. But somehow, because of the universality and timelessness of these standards, it's easier to share these feelings--I am singing not only about my experience, but about everyone's experience. To simply love: We all long for that."

"The balance of the personal and the universal is always in music, just like the balance between human and divine love," says Tuck. "Because of the sparseness of our sound and what I call `the miracle of Patti,' Patti is able to sing them, articulate them, and make them real for people. It causes us to do a dance between the personal and the universal that we find endlessly fascinating."

"How's this for a job description: `For your partner, choose your favorite person. Make your life a living meditation on Love. Put that into music so other people can share it. Be sure to use your creativity and don't forget to become more and more yourself. Travel around the world and meet the coolest people (they will come to where you work and introduce themselves so you don't have to search them out). You'll be unsupervised; just get the job done your way to your satisfaction.' The hours may be long, but that's not a bad way to make a living."

"I think one day," muses Patti, "we'll put together a track combining all those little bits that we trimmed from the end of each track we knew was the final take. We've played the last note; the song is done. At the end it's quiet, and there is always this sigh. `Yeah...that's was cool!' That's what the feeling is. A big exhale. A nice sigh. And that smile. Ahhhhh!"

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