If you can imagine a young Aretha Franklin sitting in with Joe Pass, you get a pretty good idea of what Patti Cathcart and Tuck Andress' album, "Tears of Joy," is about. Andress' bitingly syncopated acoustic guitar sets the background for Cathcart's earthy, slightly breathless vocals on one of the most soulful albums to come down the pike in some time.
Their cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" may owe more to Miles Davis' interpretation than the original, but Cathcart's vocals owe even more to Ella Fitzgerald's phrasing.
Another excellent performance comes on the title track, one of three the duo penned. The bright, upbeat funky jazz piece exhibits the intense intimacy between singer and guitarist, wife and husband, and how they can push each other without encroaching.
Despite using only vocals and acoustic guitar with no overdubs, the duo achieves a full and rich sound. And Andress' solo cover of Wes Montgomery's "Up and At It" shows what a talent he is. Linearly, Andress may never touch Montgomery but then again, Montgomery never had Andress' sense of syncopation or depth of rhythmic complexity.
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