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Top Customer Reviews
When they made their residency stay at Tonic, their focus was an all acoustic setting. No electric instruments. Back to the basics. This album contains the fruits of that endeavor. Within it are swinging jazz piano trio stylings merged with free form explorations and rhythmic vamps.
MMW sometimes have a tendency to dwell rather long on AACM inspired quiet free introductions to their sets, which often tests the patience of their hippie-fan base contingent, but here all the fat is trimmed. And after a brief introductory fanfare things are immediately off to swingland. Lee Morgan's "Afrique" is the first cover tune on the album. Coltrane's "Your Lady" and Bud Powell's "Buster Rides Again" also make welcome appearances.
You can tell they've been playing with each other for years. You can hear it in how they shift gears at a moment?s notice from sprightly walking bass, be-bop 4/4 rhythms and 16th note piano flurries straight into a maelstrom of modal ostinato bass plucking, free fill drum exhortations and dissonant piano swirls.Read more ›
"Tonic" is a live recording from the club it is named after, a very small club in New York City. The songs are actually pulled from several nights in a row that the band played there to sold-out audiences at the beginning of 1999. The intimacy of the recording is an achievement almost as remarkable as the music being played. Whenever I listen to this, especially on a good set of headphones, I feel like I'm sitting right there in front of the band. It's really amazing. This recording has surpassed my other favorite live jazz recording, the 1964 Miles Davis Quintet Plugged Nickel dates.
Listening to this gives me goosebumps, and that is not an exaggeration. Goosebumps creep up on my arms, back, and neck every time I listen to this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
after meeting john on in a non music personal setting i decided i needed to become familiar with his music. so i randomly started with tonic and was hooked. Read morePublished on August 28, 2012 by gary
I will make this short. I am not a big MMW fan but, after hearing this CD at a friends, I thought it was worth exploring. Read morePublished on May 10, 2009 by Terry Patrick
Back in the day, (10 yrs. already ?), I used to venture into NYC to catch these fellas in action, regularly. I caught one of these acoustic Tonic shows, and it was the tops, pops. Read morePublished on February 21, 2009 by Scott McWade
I had never heard anything acoustic from MMW until I picked up this album. I loved every minute of this concert. "Afrique" and "Rise Up" were by far the best tracks on the CD. Read morePublished on March 24, 2005 by N. Lang
I own all of MMW's major releases, and I must say that TONIC is my second favorite, next to Friday Afternoon In the Universe. Read morePublished on November 18, 2004 by Ricardo
I've dabbled in the MMW thing as a fan of classic jazz, and have felt mixed about their work. Sometimes they are right on the money, but other times it feels like they are trying... Read morePublished on November 17, 2004 by P. Opus
Medeski Martin & Wood (MMW) show why substance always trumps style in the jazz arena. Not that they don't have any style, but I'll get to that later. Read morePublished on February 9, 2004 by A. Runner
Of the nine MMW albums in my music collection, I favor this album after "Combustication." The trio MMW is noted for their jazz influence and often compared to Jimmie Smith because... Read morePublished on March 5, 2003 by Mick_Under the Influence
Im not a huge MMW fan. I've seen them in concert and have a few of their CDs and I like them. This cd has a lot of good stuff on it. I good live CD. Read morePublished on December 27, 2002 by William P. Chilton