Tuesday, April 20, 2010

??/??/04 Groove Collective @ Tonic, New York, NY

I lost my job and had a few unfortunate run-ins with the law in the latter half of 2004, so I didn't see as much live music as I might have liked to. However, I did discover one of my favorite venues of all time during that dark period.

On a random Saturday night, I was in the city looking for something to do and I saw a jazz show at a venue I'd never heard of, so I went to check it out.

It was a very competent jazz combo that turned out to have a bit of a Christian vibe.

The club itself was decidedly nondescript, hardly the type of space where you'd expect to see top notch music from the city's diverse world jazz scene. Yet that's precisely what it was.

The downstairs lounge, The Bunker, was once one of the city's many Kosher wineries and the private booths were giant wine barrels.

When I returned, half drawn by mysterious allure of a nearly bygone NYC era that I never knew, it was to see the eclectic Groove Collective perform their Grammy-nominated mix of Afro-pop, Latin jazz, hip-hop, and traditional jazz stylings.

Sadly, Tonic, like many great NYC music clubs, would soon succumb to gentrification. Unlike many other great clubs, I was actually able to go there more than a handful of times before it closed and actually appreciate its uniqueness.

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