The seamless dovetailing of lyrics that a practiced vocal duo can craft sometimes spills over into conversation. Lend an ear to Marion Cowings and Kim Shaw as they explain why they sing across the spectrum of jazz from Count Basie to bebop to Wayne Shorter.

"We do the stuff we believe in and we find that -- " (Cowings)

" -- doing the stuff we really love -- " (Shaw)

" -- it comes across and -- " (Cowings)

" -- it's unbelievable the things that happen to us -- " (Shaw)

" -- People have gotten remarried after they've heard us sing." (Cowings)

Cowings and Shaw, who will be at Cates through March 8 with pianist John Di Martino and bassist Steve Novosel, travel with their 2-year-old son Alexander and 7-month-old daughter Emily, both of whom Shaw says were born on the road. "They knew our whole book before they were born," says Shaw.

"We met in a club in Houston called -- " (Cowings)

" -- Roscoe's and I was working at the Hyatt Regency -- " (Shaw)

" -- and in walked Kim Shaw and I asked my pianist, 'Who is she?' and his response was, 'Forget about it.' I absolutely couldn't forget and I'm glad I didn't. That was -- " (Cowings)

" -- Five years ago." (Shaw)

After trying separate performing careers for their first year of marriage, the pair "realized we couldn't be apart." And they haven't been since.