Press Release :
Delancey Street is slick with ice and the sidewalks leading up Rivington are covered with snow. It's the 3rd day of January 2005, a Monday nonetheless, and the holiday buzz has long worn off as the winter cold blows through the doors of TONIC - the downtown institution deep in the heart of the Lower East Side. It seems like the entire city is staying in tonight; there's not a soul on the streets. But there is a palpable energy emanating just south of Norfolk where a line of heavily dressed folks snakes around the corner waiting for this very rare chance to see The Christian McBride Band in such an intimate setting. By the end of the night these strangers would all be friends.

This will be the first of two nights Christian spends at Tonic, two sets each evening. The first set of both gigs catches The Christian McBride Band at its best - the all-star ensemble that has been behind (or in front) of the leader for most of this century -- tearing through the McBride songbook. Disc one of Live At Tonic is made up of the best takes from the first sets of both nights. The second sets on each evening feature Christian completely improvising every note of every song with special guests. Night one, which is included in its entirety on disc two of Live At Tonic features Christian and his band joined by Charlie Hunter, Jason Moran and Jenny Scheinman. Night two, which is also included in its entirety, comprises disc three of Live At Tonic. Here, Christian and his band are joined by DJ Logic, Scratch, Soulive's Eric Krasno and Rashaan Peterson.

Both nights play long into the next day as no one wants to leave the cozy confines and the beautiful vibe reverberating throughout the room. The energy of the audience (a New York mix of young and old, hip-hoppers and jazz heads, uptown and downtown) feeds the band. The band reciprocates and the magic is undeniable. Fans, friends and musicians alike, all leave with huge smiles on their faces. Special is the adjective used most. And when Christian goes back to edit the tapes for the live recording, he decides that the magic needs to be officially documented, that all the music should be released, beginning to end, mistakes mixed in with the marvelous. And so it was and so it is, a three CD-set Live At Tonic specially priced ($17.98!)