For almost three decades this unique jazz duo, which also enjoys the respect of jazz purists and guitar virtuosos, has been enchanting the hearts of their fans worldwide with their passionate music.
After 29 years of making music together and 26 years of marriage, the dedication of this extraordinary couple to their music seems to know no bounds. For them, this pressure of familiarity creates diamonds rather than dust. No matter if it’s the refinement of their music, their technique or their career – the rebuilding of their home studio – the renovation of their garden or house – everything is done under the motto: It’s not done if it doesn’t come from the heart. And what comes from the heart requires perfection.
Both come from musical families where all kinds of music came out of the in-house speakers above the records. Tuck’s father was a leader of a jazz band in the local school, and his older sister inspired him with her studies of classical piano. Patti was born quasi-singing: “As a little girl,” she recalls, “I sang a never-ending stream of comments about my everyday life instead of talking. Many people from my family sang; I really started singing in church, leading youth choirs at the age of 10, and then adult choirs when I was 16.” Patti also studied classical violin for 11 years, and was involved in school choirs, musicals and various bands during her school years. She performed with numerous rock and jazz groups on the San Francisco music scene in the 1960s.
While Patti has been on the stages of the United States from the beginning, a shy boy in Tusla sat in his room for days on end and, inspired by the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, spent his time “recklessly and systematically” learning everything he could about guitar playing, including all 400 orchestral chords and complex jazz chords in the appendix of the Mel Bay Chord Book. Tuck was also influenced by Hendrix, as he was drawn deeper into the idiom of jazz by its explosive sound textures. The sixties brought Tuck to the West Coast, where he enrolled as a music student at Stanford University in 1970.
For years Tuck and Patti played in various bands in the Bay Area without ever meeting each other. Tuck’s introverted nature contrasted with Patti’s bandleader persona, who casually jammed with every hip musician in the Bay Area. In 1978, Tuck was already a guitarist in a cover band when Patti auditioned for them. “I only heard her sing for a few seconds,” Tuck recalls, “and I knew that I had found my musical partner for life. ”
Due to their extensive musical backgrounds, both had dozens of songs in their common repertoire without having played together before. They formed a duo, guitar and vocals. But although Joe Pass & Ella Fitzgerald represented a functioning business model as well as inspiration for their own project, it was difficult for them to organize concerts with this extremely reduced instrumentation at first. But since they got the chance to do so, their fan base has been growing steadily.