Tomato Box is clearly some kind of Human-Animal or Human-Vegetable Hybrid. The Band's roots are deep into the Jazz idiom, but their tentacles reach out into the wide, scary, thoughtful, happy, sad, interesting, strange world. The year was 2000. There was hope in the air. The future stretched ahead like a wide-open road. Tomato Box went into the recording studio to commit their vision to tape for all to hear. And now here is that vision, re-released and ready for you to put in your ears. There is no guarantee that listening to the Tomato Box CD, Talisman, will restore your hope in the future, there is no guarantee that it will restore your creative juices back to their year 2000 levels. But it couldn't hurt! There is always a chance! Don't give up! Two reviews from 2000 From nowhere comes the radically creative music of Tomato Box. (Madison Wisconsin, nowhere?) Yes Virginia, Madison Wisconsin is nowhere close to New York geographically (it's not too long of a drive from Chicago, just pack some coins for the automated toll booths and some Old Style beer). But Wisconsin's Tomato Box is all over Downtown sonically. Pairing a front line of marimba and saxophone, drummer Michael Brenneis' compositions are simultaneously poised and free. They rewrite Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" on the track "South Dakota" with the eased introductory lines painting a relaxed vision. Brenneis blurs the space between sticks and hands, locomoting with brushes and soft rolls as saxophonist John Keech explores the lyrics. Things always seem to return to Geoff Brady's marimba, an instrument not foreign to jazz, just one not featured so prominently. His mallets-to-wood place a strong identifiable stamp on this recording, signaling this new music to be bigger than jazz, or to be more specific, theirs is jazz that includes larger worlds (read non-Western sounds). On "Shake The Apparatus" the band creates a humming backdrop (almost a digeridoo sound) for the percussion discussions of leader Brenneis. They follow that with a sort of Steve Reich tribute on "Pockets Of Distorted Time" with the mechanical beats of a Reichian machine that deconstructs as entropy takes over. --Mark Corroto, allaboutjazz.com A strong reliance on marimba helps set Madison's own Tomato Box apart from many of the youthful 'free' aggregations that have been sprouting up around the country of late. When mallet-weilder Geoff Brady is skittering across his instrument's wooden keys during his skewed solo passages on 'Hidden Messages in Jazz,' it's easy to imagine these locals emerging as one of the more promising contemporary jazz acts in the Midwest. Drummer/composer Brenneis makes sure that his Tomatoes avoid overstatement and mindless blowing; more important, the entire band makes the space between the notes count as much as the notes themselves. --Tom Laskin, Isthmus.