Electric Tonic is the latest release by the now legendary three piece jazz outfit Medeski, Martin & Wood, and as one would expect, it's phenomenal. The 73 minute disc documents MMW's first show at Tonic, in New York City.

Part of what makes this archive so special is the club, Tonic, itself. MMW's first live release, Tonic is comprised of highlights from their 1999 run there, and the fact that their second live album is also from the venue gives us an idea of how special Tonic is, both to the band, and the music community of New York.

Eclectic downtown saxophonist John Zorn opened Tonic in April of 1998, with the hopes of being more than just another club. He envisioned a meeting place for artists and the surrounding community to be at home, and at peace in a creative environment. In Zorn's words, "The people of Tonic embraced the musicians and their music with a pure love not tainted by greed. Every space is touched by the people who inhabit it." This is the setting for Medeski, Martin & Wood's Electric Tonic. Recorded live on July 4th, 1998, marking the beginning of Tonic's new music series.

In the hot and sweaty club, MMW cooks up their amazing blend of improvisational groove jazz. Covering the wide array of sounds, and broadcasting the intelligent concepts that only Medeski, Martin & Wood are capable of, this CD is a must have for even a casual MMW fan. From the signature Medeski key work, the Deep, soulful bass lines of Wood, and the one of a kind drum beats of Billy Martin, this album captures the essence of what makes MMW the pioneers they are.

Electric Tonic is an independent release by the band, and is only available at

The Kayceman
JamBase | San Francisco
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[Published on: 12/13/01]

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