03 April 2007

Links: Remembering Tonic

So, Tonic is closing. Sad but true. I can say without reservation it remained my favorite venue in the city and maybe, just maybe, before they close the place down, I'll get to see one more lick of jazz or rock or classical or some one-of-a-kind amalgam of everything and nothing.

I've seen so many great shows over such a wide spectrum, I don't even know where to begin. The room filled a niche in the NYC scene that's tough to define, and likewise in my live music career. I believe my first time there was the first show ever there, although I could be mistaken. It was for Zorn's Masada and they didn't even have a liquor license at the time, and even though we were crammed toward the back in an overfilled room, the magic was flowing from day one. (and it would certainly foreshadow many a mind-blowing evening with Mr. Zorn leading the charge). Sure, the place had it's annoyances -- what was the deal with the 3 rows of seats, like a taunt for those who didn't get there in time to sit down. Still, the good outweighed the bad 100 times over. I never felt like there was a bottom line at Tonic -- something you couldn't say about many rooms in Manhattan... or anywhere for that matter. The memories will last a long while, from the sweet, sweet music lifting you to the heavens down to the drunken late nights in the subTonic, still one of the best late night weird-vibe haunts around (you actually got to sit in these giant wine casks -- the building was an old Kedem winery). Thankfully, I've written a lot of those memories down, so here are a bunch of reviews, courtesy of my trove of JamBase reviews from back in the day as well as more recent happenings covered by this blog. I'm sure I cover all that Tonic was and wasn't over the course of these... enjoy

Here's a video preview of the to-be-released Benevento 3CD set of his Tonic residency (this summer on Ropeadope):

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