TONIC Vintage Vocals
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TONIC Vintage Vocals

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Jan
01
TONIC Vintage Vocals @ Over 100 Corporate events and sales meetings scheduled for 2006

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Music

Press


Nov. 17th, 2005
Dan McClenaghan

These are some snazzy sounds and you have to pick your holiday music carefully in order to avoid the sap factor. The members of TONIC Vintage Vocals—a group comprised of vocalists Steve and Karen Multer, Paul Langford, and Jennifer Chada—have no sap in their systems. What they do have is some serious swing, crystalline four-part harmony, and a stylish and jazzy way of going after these time-tested standards and very strong originals from the pens of Tonic-mates Steve and Karen Multer, like the snappy title tune (dig that Jim Gailloreto sax solo) and “At Christmas Time,” a poignant ballad. The group’s sound is very much in the mode of the late thirties and forties vocal groups; smoothly-polished harmonies with an attitude. A fresh and interesting kind of swing for the holidays. - All About Jazz


Nov. 26th, 2005
Karl Stober

Take the A-Train to those thrilling days of yesteryear when music warranted respect and the artists were craft-driven rather than economically driven, and the entertainment value was serious business. From the lyrics to performance, welcome TONIC Vintage Vocals with their new self-titled release. A 2004 ball of fire set forth by SKM Creative Inc., this offering is pure rollercoaster thrills, a very cool audio ride! Paul Langford, Karen Multer, Jennifer Chada, and Steve Multer work in combination to drive the songs of the past in all directions with a harmonizing technique that just is so smooth. This is not your typical “snake oil” production. Vintage Vocals is just the Tonic to bring your blood to fever levels. Pay close attention to the vocal arrangements by Karen Multer and Paul Langford, very precise and upfront in their effort to entertain with quality. Along with Gershwin, Mercer, and Carmichael classics, the unique factor that separates this recording from other similar attempts is that TONIC delivers originals in that vintage style, daring (with success) to tackle the style once adorning every lounge and ballroom under the lights and dim-lit alleys. Crisp lyrics and hot rich arrangements (dig “Hepster’s Jive”) allow the listener to very easily associate TONIC with the classics. With vintage Mickey Spillane mystery overtones, “Sammy Slick” is a blistering piece of composition splendor featuring a Silvertone-esque radio broadcast spoken intro that’s gutsy but works so well with the arrangement. Ms. Chada puts forth an emotional ballad in her effort on “Cloudy Memories” as the lyrics clearly take one on that common search for true love with a very uncommon vocal style and a musical arrangement makes this one heavy over-spun cut on the disc. TONIC is just the medicine for all those jazz fanatics who search for the style once adorning every marquee. I recommend the spin highly and anticipate a new journey very soon from these four refreshing entertainers. Keep-em tuned! - JazzReview


November 13th, 2005
Nicholas Sheffo

Tonic is a quartet of singers who do rich Jazz vocals and even a Capella singing in the mode of The Manhattan Transfer, but the amazing thing about them is they still manage to distinguish themselves from their famous counterparts. Their self-titled debut album is a mix of original compositions with a few classics. The best thing members Paul Langford, Karen Multer, Jennifer Chada and Steve Multer do when they sing is not sound smart, smarmy, overly bright, overly happy, airheaded or idiotic like so many retro acts from any era do when they recreate art from the past. I’ve Got A Crush On You and I Thought About You more than demonstrate this. The PCM 2.0 16Bit/44.1kHz Stereo is nicely recorded and done with a clarity that smacks of a love of music and professionalism. This is a vocal group that could make a serious breakout at any time, so it is worth your time to catch them if you like this genre of music. - Fulview Drive-In


Dec. 14th, 2005
John Gilbert

TONIC Vintage Vocals bring classy harmonics, a lot of great tunes plus some hip vocalizations and a backup band to augment their
many faceted talents

Karen sings the verse to "I've Got a Crush On You" and she gets it all
with a sweet interpretation of this glorious melody. The sax solo is
both soulful and filled with ideas. This is a state of the art version
of a time tested tune.

Steve's vocal tribute to Cab Calloway in "Hepster's Jive" is a rapid fire excursion into the land of oo bla dee..Some call and answer
segments swing magically... Another gem.

"Sammy Slick" is a chanson noir cleverly done with a solid sending group effort.

This album is as hip as it gets with hints of the Manhattan Transfer
but with a bit more muscle in the vocals and arrangements. If you like
swing then cop this disc, it will bring smiles and some toe tapping joy, and that is no jive!

5 Stars
- EJazz News


December 15th, 2005
Scott Yanow

Tonic, a likable swing-based vocal quartet, performs Christmas songs on this CD. What is unusual is that about half the material was freshly written (usually by Steve and Karen Multer), including such fine numbers as "At Christmas Time," "Darn That Sock," and the rollicking title cut. Also new are some of the stanzas of Fats Waller's "The Joint Is Jumpin'," which is transformed into a Christmas-flavored number. There are occasional spots for the horns and vocal solos, but it is the highly appealing sound of the vocal ensembles and the cheerful material that should make this a Yuletide favorite. 4 Stars. - AMG


Dec. 21st, 2005

Chicago-based vocal quartet Tonic has been on the rise, presenting their 4-part harmonies and swinging vocal work primarily at private functions around the city, and releasing a self-titled CD at the beginning of 2005 that demonstrated both their performing and writing abilities. Now they’ve released one stylish Christmas CD, It Ain’t Over ‘Til the Fat Man Swings that will be a welcome addition to the holiday collections of anyone who likes the kind of vintage vocals performed by groups like the Manhattan Transfer and the swinging big band shenanigans of the Rat Pack and Louis Prima.
The dozen tracks on It Ain’t Over ‘Til the Fat Man Swings pass a little too quickly at around 40 minutes, but on the other hand, the brief running time ensures that the group doesn’t overstay its welcome. The opener, “The Holiday Season” is a stylish, and seldom heard number written by Kay Thompson, contributor to scores for such musicals as The Harvey Girls and The Ziegfeld Follies and creator the Eloise series of children’s books. Tonic’s harmonies are tight and crystal-clear, and the band, a rhythm combo supplemented by two woodwinds and two trumpets, helps the group achieve a swinging satori. They don’t let up a bit with “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” but when it comes to Gene Autry’s “Here Comes Santa Claus” they unexpectedly turn contemplative, performing the song as a gentle ballad that reminds one of light snow placidly falling, illuminated by a single streetlamp. Simply gorgeous.
The group offers some of their own tunes as well, and these are nice changes of pace, breaking up the more familiar tunes. The title track is stylish and the lyrics, by group members Steve and Karen Multer, are clever without being cloying. “At Christmas Time” strikes the right mood as well, reminding us that “You will understand/life is grand at Christmas time.” The romantic “Darn that Sock” is an unusual holiday song that celebrates relationships that begin during the holiday season. And there’s the lovely “Christmas In Chicago” that anyone who has ever spent time in the city during the holidays will love. In fact, I’d highly recommend the track for anyone who is homesick for the Windy City at holiday time.
The group concludes with the oh-so hip Fats Waller/Andy Razaf “The Joint Is Jumpin’” with new lyrics added by Steve Multe r, which is sure to get even the Scroogiest listener into the holiday mood. As the group says in their liner notes: “We’re grateful to Bing, Mel, Ella, Irving, Dean, Frank, Sarah, Andy, Judy, Rosemary, Danny, Burl, Jule, Sammy, Perry, Gene, and every singer and writer who created the soundtrack of Christmas. They gave us a lifetime of music to share while waiting for Santa to deliver the goods. To those names, add that of Tonic, a vintage vocal group that makes the holidays a real pleasure with this CD. - Jazzitude


My Kind of Jazz with Aaron Fensterheim
WXEL 90.7 FM West Palm Beach

Dec. 11th, 2005

"I have long been a fan of Jazz vocal groups going back to the Hi-lo's, LHR, The Mel-Tones, etc. and some of the newer groups like The Real Group, Jazzed To The Max, and Vox. Now along comes a group by the name of Tonic Vintage Vocals and they certainly are a tonic, doing all the things that Manhattan Transfer should still be doing. Make sure to check out their Xmas CD "It Ain't over 'til The Fat Man Swings". Xmas never sounded so good. Step aside Manhattan Transfer, Tonic VV has arrived."


-----The show "My Kind of Jazz" with host Aaron Fensterheim won an award for "Best Jazz Format" by The New York Radio and Advertising Competition and is on 6-9pm Saturday nights.-----
- Aaron Fensterheim - WXEL, West Palm Beach


January, 2005

"The group TONIC VINTAGE VOCALS is indeed a tonic, and music to my ears! They recall the halcyon days of pitch-perfect vocal groups, singing interesting harmonies and rhythms while producing a sound that is fresh (and refreshingly new) today."


-----Cy Coleman's 5 decade career includes 3 Tony Awards for "Sweet Charity", "City of Angels" and "The Will Rogers Follies." He wrote standards like "Big Spender," "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "Witchcraft," and "The Best Is Yet to Come" and he won three Emmys and two Grammys.-----

- Cy Coleman


Feb., 2005

"How to define this great harmony group out of Chicago? TONIC n. something that invigorates, refreshes, and energizes... As always, Webster was right!"


-----The Bergmans have enjoyed multi songwriting accolades, including Emmys, Grammys and three separate Oscars, for "The Windmills of Your Mind", "The Way We Were", and for the score of "Yentl". Their lyrics also have received l6 nominations, for such songs as "It Might Be You", "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?", "Papa, Can You Hear Me?", "The Way He Makes Me Feel", and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?"----- - Alan & Marilyn Bergman


Jan., 2005

“You guys sing great, the band swings, and the (recording) is very impressive in pretty much every way. The production quality and performances are certainly first rate. As far as pitching to labels, (you) have the goods to deliver!”


-----TAXI is the world’s leading A&R company and has over 100 expert music reviewers on staff.-----
- TAXI


Discography

TONIC VINTAGE VOCALS' self-titled debut disc was released Jan. 1st, 2005 and features 13 cuts of solid swing. This CD has drawn rave reviews and is currently in airplay rotation on jazz and adult contemporary stations nationwide. Julio Martinez of Variety said, "...this CD deserves consideration for the vocal jazz Grammy nomination", syndicated programs like Dave Radlauer's Jazz Showcase, Jazz After Hours with Jim Wilke, Anything Goes with Lise Avery and XM Channel 72 Real Jazz have all featured TONIC and the group has gotten rave reviews (2005) from All About Jazz, JazzReview, EJazzNews, Jazzitude and AMG just name a few.

TONIC VINTAGE VOCALS released their second CD on October 15th, 2005 and it became an instant smash with national and internation extensive airplay alongside the best Christmas releases of the year. Titled "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Man Swings" the album features a variety of original holiday swing and lounge tunes destined to become instant neo-classics along with swank new takes on classic Santa favorites. The title track was already been optioned by 2-time Sundance winning director Sherrie Robertson for her upcoming short-subject film, "Have a Nice Death" and the band is currently recording four original tracks for the film "Ossobuco" due to be released in 2007 by River West Films.

You'll find TONIC Vintage Vocals discs at Amazon.com, Tower.com, CDBaby.com, Borders.com and the group's website at www.tonicvocals.com. Many of the group's original tunes have already been published with the latest deals going to Transition Music and Inter Music, both in Los Angeles.

TONIC does their recording at Chicago Recording Company and is represented by Lisa Reedy Promotions and Kari-On Productions.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Think Manhattan Transfer meets The Rat Pack…with a little Louis Prima thrown in for solid Swing!

TONIC Vintage Vocals arrived on the Chicago jazz scene in 2003 and over three years and two highly successful album releases they’ve made a serious mark on the neo-Standards movement, garnering rave reviews from critics and audiences plus extensive radio and television exposure. On-air spins peaked in December 2005 with over 125 markets playing TONIC’s CDs across the US and internationally. Leading syndicated jazz programs like Dave Radlauer's Jazz Showcase, Jazz After Hours with Jim Wilke, Anything Goes with Lise Avery and XM Channel 72 Real Jazz have all featured TONIC and the group has gotten glowing press from many of the jazz community’s top resources including All About Jazz, JazzReview, EJazzNews, Jazzitude, Jazz Scene, AMG and Rambles just to name a few.

The members of TONIC Vintage Vocals share a combined 70 years of professional vocal performance and, individually, have logged several thousand live stage appearances across the country and around the world, singing on bills with Ella Fitzgerald, Celine Dion, Laurel Masse, Josh Groban, Enrique Iglesias, Kathryn Grayson, Kenny Rogers, Jon Hendricks, The Nylons, Gene Puerling, Francesca Blumenthal, Karen Mason, and other leaders in the vocal industry. Today TONIC is primarily seen entertaining in the corporate arena where they stay busy performing at large events and sales meetings for many of the world's leading companies and Fortune giants. This lucrative sector has kept TONIC 'in tune' and 'at home' in The Windy City rather than out on the road touring - which in turn has kept the band very happy with their work and with each other!

While “retro pop jazz with a modern edge” isn’t exactly in the mainstream, TONIC Vintage Vocals is leading the charge! Karen and Steve Multer developed the concept of the band after years of collaboration with Paul Langford on a variety of projects ranging from jingle work to studio sessions to live concert performance to industrial entertainment to holiday caroling. They brought in Marianne Embree, one of Chicago's top voices and a long-time friend, to round out the signature lead sound and it turned into a killer blend of four friends and talents along with a primary guiding focus and goal for the group:

"To Celebrate the Classic American Jazz Songbook and Introduce New Standards that help Keep the Tradition Alive!"

TONIC writes all their own original material and 100% of their celebrated swinging arrangements. They've been published with several leading houses and music libraries. Early in 2006 TONIC’s writers won the prestigious Excellence in Songwriting award for Jazz in the Billboard World Song Contest. Also in 2006, three TONIC tunes took honors in the Great American Song Contest. In 2005 the group won the ASCAPlus Award for Popular Jazz and TONIC recordings continue to be featured in film and television programming, most recently in the 2006 film "Have a Nice Death" by 2-time Sundance Lab winning director Sherrie Robertson.

TONIC Vintage Vocals invites you to stop by www.TonicVocals.com to purchase CDs, listen to mp3 cuts, watch short video clips, read reviews from industry experts and jazz leaders and to add your name to the group’s mailing list for future news and releases. Welcome to the Swank Sounds of the Swing Era, daddy-o!