Darcy James Argue‘s highly acclaimed debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam), has already turned up on dozens of best-of-the-year lists all around the jazz world, but being named one of eMusic’s 60 Best Albums of 2009 is a testimony to Argue’s ability to not only integrate different styles and genres into his sound, but also to develop an audience for creative big band music well beyond jazz aficionados.
“Critics are raving because the innovations are organic and synthesized rather than slapdash,” writes the uncredited reviewer. “I hear nods to the smooth textural vamps and odd time signatures of Steve Reich, the dynamism and harmonies of Gil Evans, the flowing lyricism of Maria Schneider, the gusty, cavernous blowouts of Christian Scott, the shamble of Tortoise and the jazz-rock of Charlie Hunter. Or not. When there are that many citations (and other reviewers have their own comparisons), it becomes clear that most of Argue’s ideas are homespun. New music—what a concept.”