07 May 2015 (gig)
10 May 2015
Tuck & Patti are almost an institution with a career spanning 37 years, married for 34 of them and yet still as endearing as the early days.
Playing at the 200 year old Teatro Magnani ( this being a priority of the Barezzi festival; good music, in superb locations and as Tanqueray 10 is the sponsor, managing to lubricate the audience with a free gin & tonic), they grace the stage; Patti with just a mike, Tuck with his 1949 Gibson L-5 guitar. Patti had a white evening dress to befit the occasion with high heeled sparkling shoes which she immediately removed, wry smile accepting that comfort and looseness come before appearance.
They exude joy like the donuts of my youth leaked strawberry jam at every bite. Patti can literally bring tears to your eyes as she sings about love in all its facets. As Anita Baker reminds me of a saxophone in the way she sings, Patti has a feel like a cello, the lower ranges betray her strong gospel roots, whilst the upper ranges soar, uplifting and magnificent.
Tuck is simply a genius. Just using basic pedals, his unique fingering style with bass lines, chords and solo licks all mixed in, he goes from pure jazz to Hendrix, completely absorbed by the instrument whilst looking at Patti, following her every whim and turn as befits the moment.
Special moments were ‘My Romance’ an ode to Ella Fitzgerald, the stupendous ‘Heaven down Here’ written by them, performed with heart and soul. Tuck’s solo rendition of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ is a technical challenge in its complexity of sound and execution that amazes.
‘Time after Time’ is almost a signature piece for them now; a beautiful rendition, before cajoling the audience to sing along with the duo, the theatre’s warm acoustic setting making it a pleasant scenario not the normality in my experience of this type of ritual.
Excellent encores of ‘Little Wing’ ,‘Tears of Joy’ and ‘When You wish upon a Star’ led to a fond and sincere farewell in this, a most successful shared experience between artist and audience.