Tuck Andress Interview With Jazz Guitar Life

Tuck Andress has been one of the Worlds leading finger-style and solo guitarists for over three decades. Usually playing alongside musical life partner Patti Austin, Tuck has treated fans to at least one CD in a solo setting and has sat down and explained his approach to Jazz finger-style playing in a couple of highly sought after instructional DVDs. In this interview, Tuck was gracious enough to talk a bit about his past, his latest CD with Patti and how he gets his unique tone. It is a most revealing and interesting read and we even find out why his name is Tuck. Enjoy!

Interview by Lyle Robinson via phone 2008

“We met at a rehearsal when Patti came to audition as a singer for a band that I was already a member of, and during the first few seconds of hearing each other sing and play respectively, we both knew that we had found a lifetime collaborator.”

JGL: Thanks Tuck for being able to take the time from what I know is a busy schedule to speak with Jazz Guitar life.

TA: Not a problem Lyle, it’s my pleasure.

JGL: So, let’s begin by talking about the new CD. I’ve been listening to it pretty much non-stop since receiving it and I gotta say, it’s awesome!

TA: Thank you. We love it. We had a great time making it and now when we get to listen to it back afterwards, it’s nice not to sit there and cringe at your own music but to enjoy it.

JGL: I can imagine. Does that happen to you? I mean, you hear stories about musicians who cannot bear to listen to their own music, even after a number of years…

TA: Yeah. You know, Patti really taught me about the non cringing part, and that’s been pretty useful. We had a few key moments where we had “the take”, but it was like “I really messed this one thing up and I can’t stand it”, and she’s like “Oh, I really love that. I didn’t realize it was a mistake, I though that was inspired!” And so I had to learn to see it through her eyes and out of that we came up with this principle of “falling in love with your mistakes”, falling in love with the parts of yourself that you don’t like. And that’s a really powerful concept and one musicians should strive to get into a little bit because it frees you up.

JGL: Most definitely. At times it’s those mistakes that take us into a different direction, one that might shape the music in a way that we might not have experienced otherwise.

TA: Yeah, because you just don’t know what somebody else might think. I realize as artists we should at least do our best to put out what we believe in so you don’t want to put out your worst, you want to put out what you think is your best, but at the same time you have to allow for the fact that one of the beauties of music or any kind of art is that people don’t all perceive it the same way. And maybe my opinion is just not as important as someone else’s opinion…especially if it gets me off the hook when I’m not playing well…lol…so I’ve become more forgiving of mistakes and have tried to take the Patti perspective of falling in love with them.

JGL: While you and Patti both have an equal share in the music as a whole, Patti seems to have a 51 percent controlling interest at the en of the day, so to speak…

TA: I would say it’s even higher than that. She is the producer, arranger and writer of the two of us. Our talents, after doing this together for thirty years, it’s become pretty clear who’s got the various strengths and weaknesses. I’m really strong on the engineering side of it and I’m really strong on kind of the appendix to the encyclopedia side of it and can name every chord that has “these two notes” and I can make that list. But I’d rather have Patti choose because she has a wonderful sense of music. I’m kind of the person who can endlessly explore possibilities and Patti is the kind of person who sees where we are, where we are going and gets us there really quickly.

JGL: Nice!

TA: Yeah. I’ve learned, more or less, to shut up when I don’t have anything to say because most of the time I have no idea how to go about it and I watch this fountain of ideas coming from her. And so we kind of refined our way of working together over the years. I mean, it’s not always that way, but that is certainly the strong tendency, and that’s part of why I play as unusual a style as I do, because the guitar player is not the one coming up with the singing through guitar player filters. That’s a big, big secret weapon of our style because a lot of it is coming from Patti’s ears as opposed to Tuck’s ears.

JGL: Well it seems to certainly work and is a wonderful combination of talents no matter how you slice it. This then, leads me to a question: When you are preparing tunes, do you go off somewhere privately, work on a new tune or arrangement and then run it by Patti? Or do you both work on tunes interactively?

TA: It would tend to be more interactive until I have a specific mission to accomplish, like playing three against four in a particular section or something like that. Or, Patti will already have a strong concept of what she hears and it becomes more like she’s the Orchestrator and I’m the Orchestra so she’s just communicating it to me and then I figure out how to render it.

Of course there’s give and take, subject to the limitations of the instrument. It doesn’t happen too often that she hears it and says “no, I don’t like it after all.” But sometimes that does happen, where we come up with a direction, go down to the studio and we can tell really quick, or at least, she can tell real quick whether it’s a good direction or not. If not, then it doesn’t matter how long we worked at getting something down, as soon as we know it doesn’t work, we’re like “Okay, that was a neat learning experience, let’s start over again.” And we’ll do that as many times as it takes to get an approach to a song that we really is right. Sometimes along the way, I’ll get into some very careful arranging and problem solving and then we’ll finally get to the moment of truth and say; “well, no, it doesn’t serve this particular tune after all, so let’s not do it.”

JGL: Right. So how do you come up with what you come up with? For example, on the new CD, the tune “In A Sentimental Mood” features some really awesome sounding triplet trill like passages in the solo section which I have not heard you ever play before.

TA: Oh yeah, that was kind of interesting to me too, and I’m sure there is a footnote or two. Yeah, I think the footnote to this one was a David T. Walker solo on a Stevie Wonder song I believe…

JGL: Really!?

TA: Yeah…usually there is a footnote, I mean you know, nothing is ever original and you usually repackage what’s already is in your ear, and a lot of that came from listening to music. I seem to remember a David T. Walker solo on Visions. I forgot about that, but I realize now there is a chromatic, ascending and descending thing. It’s kind of like a finger exercise, how can you manage to keep the chord going at the same time while you play essentially this David T. Walker riff that was so beautiful on that song…or at least something like it. I think that’s what I came up with.

JGL: Well, whatever it was, it’s really cool…

TA: On that one, I think I also took advantage of the fact that my 17th fret was just slightly worn, so if I did vibrato on it, it would give this kind of metallic regeneration of the sound as opposed to just changing the pitch. So, I’m really interacting with the reality of my instrument.

JGL: Nice! Plus, you are really getting into the use of your volume pedal on that tune, especially during the solo.

TA: Right, I did. And obviously, I’ve been a user of that since the beginning, initially in an attempt to match Patti’s range because I found out that I couldn’t do it with guitar technique alone. And then once my foot was on it, I started thinking of it as an expressive devise, and I started thinking of Jimmy Smith especially who is a big hero to me. On this album however, everything was different because I was recording sitting down as opposed to recording sanding up.

JGL: Oh really!?

TA: Yeah…it just happens that the electro magnetic fields that cause buzz in guitar had shifted in our studio since the last time we had recorded, and they asked me to play the guitar two feet lower than it had been so I sat down in an attempt to do that and so I found my foot doing different things on the pedal as well. Again, sort of a reaction to the instrument and conditions as much as the music.

JGL: Wow, quite interesting. Tell me, are you using an acoustic on this CD or is it just a very bright sounding archtop?

TA: Well, the arch-top itself is not so bright sounding. It’s an old 1953 Gibson L5 with a Bartolini pickup in it which Bill (Bartolini) carefully wound with equally matching coils to reduce noise as much as possible. The pickup itself sounds much more like a single coil pickup, but is one of his brightest humbucking pickups. He and I sat around and did a bunch of R&D and went through about 30 pickups at one point. He loves to do that kind of stuff as a guitar player so he and I sat around on the floor and did tests and so forth. He would talk in terms I wouldn’t understand and then lo and behold there would be another pickup with a different sound and we’d go with that.

So, it’s that, and a great deal of EQ…oh…and there’s a buffer preamp built into the guitar that causes the impedance of the guitar to become very low impedance at the earliest possible point. Most guitars that don’t have that lose a lot of their highs by virtue of impedance mismatch whatever you plug them into at the next stage, whether it’s a guitar amp or heaven forbid you try and plug the guitar into a studio board or something like that, you lose a lot of highs. With the buffer preamp that doesn’t happen, somewhat the same way if you use a direct box. So everything added up to increased highs. Not so much the bright cutting stuff as the sibilant and air stuff, the top couple of octaves that humans can hear, and it’s something that guitar pickups don’t usually put out that much of even if the guitar does it. Now a piezo pickup on an acoustic would be a different story, it would tend to pickup those higher frequencies, but a magnetic pickup doesn’t tend to get them so we do everything we can to bring those back in.

JGL: Is that a way to have a strong contrast against Patti’s vocal?

TA: It is partly that. It seemed clear to us that expanding the frequency range of the guitar in any way we could would be good for this music. But it’s a sound that I have grown accustomed to over a long period of time anyway just through the random way that life worked out. I kind of like that, what I think of as a muffled sound which I grew up thinking was extremely beautiful associated with Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell for example playing flat wounds through a guitar amp where there wasn’t a lot of high end. Or to take the extreme, I always thought that Pat Martino’s sound was totally beautiful, and of course…and I’ve seen him do it…he’s got a tone knob on his guitar and he turns it all the way to bass and the same thing on his amp. It’s astounding to me but it’s a really cool sound but I now know that that particular sound is really just a result of impedance mismatch. They didn’t know how to do it, or for some reason they couldn’t do it right back then, and so we all fell in love with that sound.

Now, the same thing with Rock Guitars, and in fact, if you get a guitar with too much air and then start to distort it, it starts to sound pretty strange and weird…lol. In the case of Patti, not only in the sound of the guitar did we find that it was useful to open up the top couple of octaves, but in the arranging concept on the guitar we found that it was really useful wherever we could, to get me out of vocal range where she is singing, which has been a key part of our approach, especially the ballads where there are sustained notes. She is a contralto, which means that most of the time her comfortable vocal range is right in the middle of my normal guitar chords. And so there would be an extreme tendency for us to be doubling notes all the time. And that’s what people usually do when they don’t bother worrying about it. You know, the guitar player plays the chords that they know, the singer sings what they sing and then you’re doubling notes or are a half step apart ‘cause you got the root and the singer is singing the major 7th or something and nobody worries about it. But we found that it kind of bothered us, especially when you mix albums and you got a bunch of mid-range instruments and there all fighting each other.

So we started working on it and expanding guitar voicings so I get up higher on the neck and kind of leave a whole in the middle of the chord where Patti could operate more freely and not be worried about if her vibrato doesn’t match mine or my lack of it. That kind of thing. So that’s the kind of really useful arranging concept we always try and share with other people who are doing this. And if she was a soprano it would a whole different deal because she would be above the top note of most of my chords. As it is, it’s more like an orchestral concept where she’s in the middle and I’m on either side.

JGL: Most interesting. Thanks for sharing that with us Tuck. Did this arranging concept flesh itself out over the years that you both have been playing together or was it addressed from the beginning?

TA: We didn’t discover it until a ways in when things started to bother us, and especially we became more aware of it when we started using in-ear monitors which was quite early in our relationship. We were among the first people to use them.

JGL: That’s right. I remember reading that on your website that this was around 1988 or so?

TA: Well, that was when we first recorded, but we used them before that. I would say we’ve used then since the early eighties.

JGL: Oh,nice…

TA: Yeah, hardly anyone was using them back then. Stevie Wonder and Art Garfunkel was, and there was just one guy making them back then and each one was custom made and somehow it worked out that we found out about them. At the time we were kind of interested in jumping on whatever the cool, technological things were and that was one of them. So we investigated it and did it, and all of a sudden you’re hearing your music kind of through a microscope, all those little nuances and details become your whole world. It’s like being in the studio with headphones, only more so. I tuned in much more to the balance among the various notes of a chord and to how the notes I was playing related to what Patti was singing and we started talking about it and experimenting and it really didn’t serve us well to have us sustaining the same note. We became aware of octave doubling, kind of like you do when you start studying chord voicings or f you are studying orchestration and looking at why they avoided parallel motion at a certain point in history.

So we kind of got into that level of detail but it was based on experience rather than any kind of learned theory. We just checked out what worked and what didn’t. And also, we had the advantage of Patti, not a guitar player, had played in orchestras all through school so she had much more of an orchestral concept so she was hearing things like high sustained strings and stuff that you don’t of too much as the guitar player, the rhythm guitar player in the band. And so very often she would sing typically a counter melody that would be higher than I would tend to play that would end up being the top note of the chord that I would voice. Her counter melodies very often would be an octave higher than I would tend to think of a counter melody.

To me a counter melody would be counter to the top note of the chord I’m already playing. So if the counter melody is down there on the G string and it’s a moving inner voice, but in fact, we just sort of turn things inside out from my perspective. But it evolved gradually. On early albums, for example, if you listen to “My Romance” from Tears Of Joy, you’ll probably hear places where we’re sustaining the same note because we hadn’t tapped into it much at the time. And on later albums you would hear where we intentionally didn’t do that. If you took apart the guitar voicing you would hear holes, or you would hear me emphasize notes when it turns out that we are doing the same note. An occasionally Patti really wants to hear a unison, or even a half step dissonance which we would occasionally emphasize.

JGL: And then you would go in an opposite direction, especially on the new tune “I Remember You”, where there’s basically just walking bass for most of the tune.

TA: Yeah…that was the hardest song on the album for me. Not now of course because I’m used to it, but at the time leaving out all the other stuff was incredibly difficult.

JGL: LOL…I can imagine! Your fingers must have been twitching…

TA: Yeah…lol…although, it reminds you of how much you overplay as a musician and that all the other stuff is not so necessary. As I recall we were possibly looking at an introduction to the song with the assumption that we would start with walking bass and gradually build the other stuff into it. And then said, “Wow…that’s really cool, let’s do it for the whole song”; and boy that was hard for me to leave that stuff out. Then it became a great challenge to make the bass a counter melody and we didn’t agree with any bass line…it’s different every time we play it.

JGL: Wow! This brings me to another question about your performances. How much is written or planned and how much is left to improvisation?

TA: Zero on written arrangements because we never write anything down for stage because it hasn’t been necessary. Some things are conceptually exactly arranged and that means what varies is the degree to which I manage to actually pull off what I’m expecting to do. And there’s always a big factor there, so mistakes and surprises we make the most of. Plus we have a deal from early on that nothing is sacrosanct or written in stone. It’s really our job, whenever we feel like it’s time to abandon the arrangement individually, to go with that. Even if it would derail Patti, if I really feel that there’s something I’m supposed to do, I’ll go with it. Even to the point that it’s a bad idea but just one you feel you gotta go with, then go with it, and take the chance to blow it and don’t be afraid of that and know that you are supported by your partner which is very important.

And so, while there are certain things that tend to have a lot of regularity, again, “My Romance” springs to mind, with voicings and timing that we really like, it’s all subject to change and complete revision without notice on either person’s part and we’re both always alert to that. And the same deal in the studio. We’ll rehearse something to the point where we actually can play it pretty much the same way every time. Then we’ll go into record and we still have the deal that we’ll just abandon that arrangement at any point that it feels like the right thing to do, whether it’s details or the form of the song itself.

JGL: So there must be a lot of catching each other off guard sort of thing…

TA: There is! That’s why it’s still exciting to us after playing together for thirty years. And I think that allows the magic to happen. Realistically, you’ve got two people playing together…it would be a shame if they were simply executing a script all the time. I understand if you’ve got a big band or an orchestra, in most cases you just can’t have the chaos of everybody doing what they want to do, but the smaller the group, you should have that kind of freedom. And so, reduced to two people, we should have quite a bit of freedom. As far as I’m concerned, one of the things that most restricts our freedom is still technical limitations on my part.

JGL: Really!!??  You!!??

TA: Yeah…there are a lot of times when I don’t have as many options as I wish I had. I go for the ones that I could pull off and I could see 15 others sliding away at any given moment that I could not get my fingers on. It’s less that way now, and I let myself take more chances, or make myself take more chances than I used to. But there’s a lot of real time solving, or failing to solve, technical fingering issues.

JGL: Speaking of freedom…have you ever thought of bringing in another harmonic instrument to allow you more freedom to play fuller voicings or more single line stuff…

TA: Only at the beginning did we think about that and it was at the beginning when it would have been the best idea, especially on my end ‘cause it was pretty weak. You could see that the concept was there but there were not always four beats in every measure ‘cause I couldn’t manage to be counted on to pull that stuff off. We were out there doing gigs before I felt that I was ready musically to do that. I was a good player, but not in that style at all and it was definitely catch as catch can on the fly on the gig for a lot at the beginning for a number of years really just piecing it together and then practicing really hard the rest of the time.

During that time, a lot of our friends said you guys have illustrated what a cool thing the duo is and also illustrated at the same time that it would be a good idea to get a bass player…lol…or get another guitar player to play those parts. You know, why work so hard on that when you could just work on playing music. And we just decided to limit ourselves to this and let that be the creative challenge.

So, at this point we don’t feel a particular need to, we feel like there’s more freedom than we have time to exercise even ‘cause there’s so much stuff left to explore. Occasionally we’ve had another person sit in on an album, or we’ve done some special event where we’ve played with other people or with a band. We got to play with Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters which was unbelievably cool. But those are the rare exceptions.

JGL: How did you both feel in that context, even though it was a one off thing?

TA: Of course, with Herbie Hancock and Wah Wah Watson sitting there playing behind you, it is an altered state in the first place…but it was a largely improvised thing. It was a TV show where the style of the show was impromptu. Various Headhunters just joined us gradually on a song while we were rehearsing. And so there was no discussion until we stopped playing, ‘cause we didn’t even know if it would happen, so it’s like, “oh, that’s Herbie Hancock over there playing”. When we finally stopped and started talking about it, the fist thing that happened was that Herbie said to me, “Tuck, what are the changes on such and such a section?” And all of  a sudden I found myself completely inarticulate…”ahhh…okay…well, there’s a D and an F sharp and…oh, that must be a D 9th Herbie…and a, uhhh, E 13th I think…” My mind was not functioning very well at that point out of awe for him. But in fact, whenever we do anything like that, even though that’s a pretty exceptional situation, it’s kind of like going back to what we always did before we met each other ‘cause I was in and out of about 300 bands and probably Patti did the same thing, so it’s like going back to that mode and it’s no less natural to do that now than it was then.

JGL: Of course, I remember one of those bands being the Gap Band. Did you play in those bands as a more “traditional” guitarist than you do now?

TA: Yeah…I had much more of a traditional view of the guitar. At the time that I was playing with the Gap Band, it was kind of post Rock N Roll for me and it was early getting into soul, so I was listening to people like David T. Walker and Cornell Dupree, Eric Gale and I was listening to Smokey Robinson records and the incredible stuff that Marvin Tarpin (???) played, and I would listen to Al Green and all those guys…just so simple, but just so perfect. And I was especially listening to the other guitar player in the band at least when he was part of the band because he came and went, his name was Odell Stokes, and he was an enormous figure for me, he was the quintessential rhythm guitar player, to the point where no one really noticed him. In some ways he was kind of like the Freddie Green of Soul and R & B music. To me he was the heart of the band practically but people wouldn’t notice ‘cause he fit in so well and was so perfect all the time. From the standpoint of my analytical mind, he knew just when to stop repeating the same pattern and do a variation and then whether to go right back to that pattern or do a new pattern that had a slight variation. All the little subtle stuff and it still was nothing more than 7th chords and 9th chords, but it was all just right with perfect feel. I learned a great deal from that experience.

JGL: Cool…and at least for me, that would explain the energy you put out live and in your recordings. So then let me ask you, in terms of what the listening public has heard, you’ve pretty much done it all, how much more can you go? I know that sounds like a Spinal Tap question, but can you go to 11?

TA: lol…In our experience it has more to do with depth, although I could start listing guitar players that blow me away on some technical level and I’m aware that there’s homework to be done because somebody’s doing something I’m not doing on a regular basis and I couldn’t immediately put my hands on. So on a technical level it would be possible to say that there’s a whole lot left to do and then there would be some place to find in our music that it would fit musically. If I were a master of Eddie Van Halen’s style, I’m sure we could find a place in our music to do it, but I’m not. It’s interesting and I mess around with it a little bit, but you know, I’m a dabbler in that particular realm. But for us really, what’s most attractive is finding more and more dept in the collaboration, and it has to do with maturing and learning how to leave space, what to leave out, and finding more and more subtlety in sort of that hunt for the single note that if you play it just right serves as the key to unlock somebody’s heart.

JGL: And I know that that is exactly where your music is coming from…

TA: Well it is. It was an agreement that we both had early on and there was no compromise even necessary because we both thought the same way which is probably why it was so easy for us to fall together as a duo and stay that way. We really agreed on what music could do and what we wanted to do with it. And the decision to become a duo was really just a framework, it didn’t have to be that, but it had to be a framework we found attractive.

I think it has helped support this kind of very direct, emotional quality. You are never not going to know what the words are if you listen to us as opposed to not hearing the lyrics because you couldn’t hear the singer. You can come a lot closer to hearing every single breath, every single detail and all the string noise and such. When a guitar part is repeated, several times in a row, how none of them are the same even though Tuck was probably trying to make them sound the same…lol…you hear the real fabric, and I think, at least in our case, that’s a lot of where the meta-message comes across, even though we really don’t understand the process. The message of the song might be what the lyrics are saying, but there’s some kind of meta-message that might touch somebody about the music and it’s not necessarily related to the lyrics or what the people who are playing the music are feeling or anything. Somehow it comes across as a result of all the textures that they hear and all the details in there. Nobody understands that process and we don’t either.

JGL: Whatever the process is, or isn’t, it makes one feel warm inside having witnessed something so intimate when people listen to your music or see a show and not being able to put it into words…

TA: Yeah…it’s humbling from the standpoint of the performer. I used to be one of these people, not extremely because I know some people who are extremely this way, who would feel kind of bad after a bad night because I didn’t play very well, or would feel better after a good night where I did play well, and it’s only natural. But, at the same time, we’ve had so many times when, after what we both thought was a pretty bad night somebody would come up and say, “Oh wow, I was touched so much by…”something. I’ve known a lot of musicians who didn’t properly train themselves to respond and would say “Oh, that was garbage what you heard”…lol…that’s not the right answer.

JGL: LOL…definitely not…you might think it but you definitely shouldn’t express it…

TA: We’ve had to get into the fact that there’s something else that comes across. While we, all performers collectively, are all wrapped up in trying to do our best performance, there’s something else that happens that you know, is kind of tangentially related, and who knows exactly how related it is, that’s something that happens is as important as anything we’re thinking about. So you have to finally come to terms with the fact that maybe, you are not the only person in the world. I’m not the only person in the world and maybe my experiences are no more important than somebody else. And if there are 200 people listening, or 2000, or over a period of time lots of people listening to an album, then maybe each one of their experiences are just as important as mine was even though mine was a lot more real to me when I was going through it.

So we had to learn to kind of give it up, surrender, do our best and not worry about it. It’s very liberating, but that doesn’t happen by accident, you decide to do that based on your realization that that is the right thing to do. You need to practice doing that…we really practice surrender, treating as it’s everything as we’re doing it and then when we are finished, treating it as if it was nothing.

JGL: That sounds like a difficult, but great philosophy to live by.

TA: It’s worked better than most of the other ones…lol…

JGL: Well, we only have a few minutes left and I was wondering, and I hope this is not to personal…were you and Patti originally couple who then decided to play music together or did you both meet as musicians first before becoming a couple…

TA: We had a musical partnership literally from the day we met. We met at a rehearsal when Patti came to audition as a singer for a band that I was already a member of, and during the first few seconds of hearing each other sing and play respectively, we both knew that we had found a lifetime collaborator. A couple of months later before we quit the band and started just playing as a duo, we knew we found our musical partner for life. Then we were best friends for a while before the romance part.

JGL: Another personal question if you don’t mind…your actual first name is William I believe?

TA: That’s right.

JGL: OK. Where did “Tuck” come from?

TA: It came from a combination of Little Tommy Tucker because I used to cry when I didn’t have food in my mouth and Friar Tuck because I was a fat, little baby…

JGL: LOL…that’s too funny…

TA: That’s what I was told and I believe that! But by the time I knew anything about it I was just “Tuck”. When I sign a check it’s William, but otherwise I’m Tuck.

JGL: Well, I realize you have to go and I appreciate you taking the time today but before we say goodbye, what’s coming up in the next little while for you both?

TA: Well we’re touring a lot and so it’s a matter of finding the time in the midst of the touring to get back in the studio to record something else, so we’re not exactly sure. Probably the next two projects are going to be a more traditional Tuck and Patti album where it’s a mixture of originals and non-originals and a lot discussed, but not done, another guitar solo album.

JGL: Nice!

TA: Yeah…I’m kind of like a reluctant solo guitar player. When it comes right down to it, my favorite thing to do is play with Patti and life provides a tremendous amount of opportunity for me to do that so we really have to carve out time to record in the first place much less record something other than the thing we do together. But Patti’s been saying for a long time that I should it and I realize that that’s the case. Also, both of us are making it a point to create in our lives the room to teach again which we haven’t for the last twenty years or so being on the road. We’ve kind of put out the word, like on our website and so forth, but haven’t done it very much because there hasn’t been any time. We are trying to rearrange our lives so that we can spend as much as three months a year teaching private students. We both love it and we’re good at it. And a lot of the time you can’t find really experienced players or singers who will do that, or have the time to do that, or have the inclination or whatever…We think it’s really valuable.

JGL: Oh most definitely…it’s kind of like paying it forward…

TA: Yeah! Absolutely…and to that end, once we start teaching again I want to do some more video, teaching DVD’s because I think that’s a great way to go.

JGL: Well, I for one will be looking out for those DVD’s. Once again Tuck, thank you for taking the time to talk with Jazz Guitar Life and I look forward to hopefully seeing you and Patti in Montreal at some point.

TA: Thanks Lyle. It was a pleasure.

For more information on Tuck and Patti check out their website at www.tuckandpatti.com


  1. Thank you so much for this interview. I’ve been a huge fan of Tuck’s for many, many years and honestly, this interview has been the best I’ve ever read on him.


    • Thanks for the kind words Paul and I’m glad that you enjoyed the interview. Tuck was a joy to talk to and like you, I had been a big fan for a long time.

      Take care and if there’s any other player you would like to see interviewed, please don’t hesitate to ask me.


  2. I’ve only recently heard Tuck Andress and found your interview searching for him on the web. A fantastic interview. I learned so much and found it quite entertaining as well. Thank you for a great resource.


    • Thanks for the kind words William. I hope you still keep on checking Tuck out…he’s a beast as the kids say these days 🙂

      Take care.


  3. This was a superb interview and better than I have ever read in nay of those other guitar magazines. Thank you and keep on doing what you do.

    • Hi Will and thanks for dropping by. Also thanks for the kind words, they are greatly appreciated!

      Take care and all the best.


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