Rolling Stone - 5/15/03, p.1353 stars out of 5
- "...The grooves and solos are jazzier than usual for Anastasio..."
Entertainment Weekly - 5/2/03
"...The mass of material gathered on PLASMA flows engagingly--and surprisingly quickly--through its two-plus hours. Even if you're not high..." - Rating: B
Personnel: Trey Anastasio (vocals, guitar); Jennifer Hartswick (vocals, trumpet, tuba); Tony Markellis (vocals, bass); Russ Lawton (vocals, drums); Cyro Baptista (vocals, percussion); Russell Remington, Peter Apfelbaum (flute, tenor saxophone); Dave Grippo (clarinet, alto & baritone saxophones); Andy Moroz (trombone); Ray Paczkowski (keyboards).
Producers: Trey Anastasio, Chris Cottrell, Brad Sands.
Personnel: Trey Anastasio (vocals, guitar); Jennifer Hartswick (vocals, trumpet, tuba); Russ Lawton (vocals, drums); Cyro Baptista (vocals, percussion); Tony Markellis (vocals); Russell Remington, Peter Apfelbaum (flute, tenor saxophone); Dave Grippo (clarinet, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Andy Moroz (trombone); Ray Paczkowski (keyboards).
Audio Mixer: Paul Languedoc.
Audio Remixer: Trey Anastasio.
Recording information: Amphitheatre At Station Square, Pittsburgh, PA (06/04/2002-11/02/2002); Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (06/04/2002-11/02/2002); PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ (06/04/2002-11/02/2002); Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, Pompano Beach, FL (06/04/2002-11/02/2002); Portland Expo, Portland, ME (06/04/2002-11/02/2002); Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO (06/04/2002-11/02/2002); The Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA (06/04/2002-11/02/2002); Tower City Amphitheatre, Cleveland, OH (06/04/2002-11/02/2002); UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL (06/04/2002-11/02/2002).
Photographers: Jeff Kravitz; Mike McNamara; Danny Clinch.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Randall Dennis; Dominick Placco; Jeff Kearns; Malcolm Ball.
Arranger: Trey Anastasio.
For the two-CD PLASMA, Trey Anastasio continues down the funky, world-music path of his 2002 self-titled debut, which found him eschewing the avant-jazzy tendencies of his first non-Phish project, Surrender to the Air. For this live set, Anastasio offers seven previously unreleased songs recorded at nine separate locales including a Pompano Beach, FL soundcheck. Leading a nonet of sidemen, the Phish guitarist still draws on jazz for inspiration whether he's chugging along via the irresistible Afro-Cuban groove of the opener "Curlew's Call" or swinging like Benny Goodman on a remake of his old band's instrumental "Magilla." Phishheads will also be pleased to discover the inclusion of a pair from FARMHOUSE, the insistent "First Tube" and a sinewy sounding "Sand" taken from a June 2002 performance at New Jersey's PNC Bank Arts Center.
With a five-man horn section providing the punch, Anastasio has fun digging into a sweet cover of Bob Marley's "Small Axe" and a 20-minute plus version of "Night Speak To a Woman," the only cut taken from the Vermont native's debut. On it, the original version is twisted and morphed to include varying time changes, furious jams, and a co-vocal slot filled by trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick.