Darcy James Argue Returns To Boston February 25th

January 6, 2010

Photo by Lindsay Beyerstein

On Thursday, February 25th, acclaimed New York-based composer, and New England Conservatory alumnus, Darcy James Argue will return to Boston with his innovative 18-piece big band, Secret Society, for a performance at Regattabar. This will be the four year-old ensemble’s Boston debut, and first concert in New England since the release of its celebrated 2009 recording, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), which appeared on more than 70 best-of-the-year lists and was named Best Debut in the prestigious Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll.

“Argue’s tunes can command your attention anywhere,” writes Newsweek‘s Seth Colter Walls, “no small feat in our media-saturated world.” Critics called the record “a seven-track marvel of imagination” (David R. Adler, Time Out New York), “a fully integrated sound world as current as it is timeless” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com), “a nearly perfect creative synthesis between tradition and innovation” (John Eyles, BBC) and “a wickedly intelligent dispatch from the fading border between orchestral jazz and post-rock and classical minimalism” (Nate Chinen, New York Times). JazzTimes‘ Michael J. West adds, “With their haunting compositions and imaginative experiments, Argue’s Secret Society might do for jazz what Radiohead did for rock—and poach some of its audience, too.”

A Vancouver native, and former member of the Montreal jazz scene, Argue moved to New York in 2003 after earning a Master’s Degree in Boston while studying with legendary composer/arranger Bob Brookmeyer. Heralded for both his composing skills and his role as one of the jazz world’s most prominent bloggers, he has been profiled on National Public Radio (NPR) and in publications such as Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. His rise to prominence in 2009 was further aided by notable performances around New York as well as in Germany, The Netherlands and Canada, where he conducted an all-star performance of a new, specially commissioned piece at the National Jazz Awards. The Boston Globe‘s Joan Anderman concludes, “Argue is that rare bird in any genre—an original thinker—but his real gift is in transposing big ideas into music that is as inviting as it is innovative.”


Boston Phoenix: Darius Jones Trio At Outpost 186

November 5, 2009

Photo by Joel Veak

Jon Garelick reviews the Darius Jones Trio’s October 19th CD release concert at Outpost 186 in this week’s issue of the Boston Phoenix. The group, which features alto saxophonist/composer Darius Jones, multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore and drummer Rakalam Bob Moses, was in town celebrating Jones’ recorded debut as a bandleader, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) on AUM Fidelity.

“To call Darius Jones’s music avant-garde seems almost beside the point,” Garelick writes. “In its way, it’s older than old—it’s ancient. Jones likes churchy old blues, boogie-woogie, and the kind of folkish tunes that Albert Ayler used to write. He also shares Ayler’s moaning, wide-vibrato tone, if not the sainted saxophonist’s taste for single-minded, iron-jawed shrieking. But Jones has his own dignified way of testifying—big, long tones that patiently build to skirling figures and ululating shouts.”


Darius Jones Trio x 2 Tonight

October 19, 2009
Photo by John Sharpe

Photo by John Sharpe

Not since Phil Collins did it at Live Aid has a musician played concerts on both sides of the Atlantic in a single day*, but alto saxophonist Darius Jones will come close tonight when his trio performs live at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA on the same night BBC 3’s Jazz on 3 presents its set from this summer’s Vision Festival 14.

The group, which just wowed the audience at AUM Fidelity‘s all-star artist showcase at Abrons Arts Center on Thursday night, is celebrating the release of Jones’ long-awaited debut as a leader, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing).

Learn more about Jones, his work in this band with mentors Cooper-Moore and Rakalam Bob Moses, and the sources of his music in an extended interview with Jason Crane on last Friday’s episode of The Jazz Session.

* This may or may not be true.


Just Confirmed: Darius Jones Trio At Outpost 186 October 19th

October 8, 2009
Photo by Carrie Villines

Photo by Carrie Villines

On Monday, October 19th, New York-based alto saxophonist/composer Darius Jones will celebrate his anxiously awaited debut recording, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) on AUM Fidelity, featuring noted master musicians Cooper-Moore (piano and diddley-bo) and Rakalam Bob Moses (drums), with a performance at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA.

The event, which is being presented by the venue’s subconsciouscafe series, will begin at 8:00 p.m. Admission is a $10 suggested donation at the door.

Jones conceived Man’ish Boy, which officially hits the streets October 13th, as “a sonic tone poem about me and my life growing up in the South.” Inspired by his poor, but musically diverse and love-filled childhood on a farm in his native Virginia, Jones wrote eight compositions that draw on a diverse range of concepts, sonic materials and rhythms he encountered during his youth.

This eclectic tapestry of influences includes his uncle’s saxophone playing, his Jamaican father’s love of reggae, the revelatory vocal music of the church and countless hours of listening to everything from classical to rock on the radio.

In his review of the record, AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins calls Jones “a prodigiously talented instrumentalist whose Southern roots shine through on this vivacious debut,” and “a new voice poised to receive widespread acclaim from the jazz underground.”

Jason Crane, PopDose.com reviewer and host of The Jazz Session, describes Man’ish Boy as “an incredible recording that will make you sing, make you weep and make you marvel. It’s not just good. It’s important. And we are the richer for its existence.”

“On Man’ish Boy,” adds Point of Departure‘s Ed Hazell, “alto saxophonist Darius Jones delivers one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory, displaying a remarkably well-developed concept and individual sound. Jones and his trio with pianist Cooper-Moore and drummer Rakalam Bob Moses create a modern music drawn from an exclusively African American tradition…Jones and company reach back to into the pre-jazz African American folk, spiritual, and blues traditions to inform their music. It’s Jones’ ability to make those deep connections to a long tradition and absorb them thoroughly into his own music that helps give the album its heft and beauty.”

Jones’ trio, which last performed together at the 2009 Vision Festival in New York this summer, will also be performing at AUM Fidelity’s label showcase at New York’s Abrons Arts Center on October 15th and at New Haven’s Firehouse 12 on November 20th.

To learn more about Jones and his music, check out this new interview, posted today at rvanews.com, and please check back with us often for more of the media response to Man’ish Boy following its release next week.


Joe Morris’ Wildlife In Boston Tonight

September 11, 2009

Joe Morris‘ improvising trio Wildlife, featuring saxophonist Petr Cancura and drummer Luther Gray, will celebrate its self-titled debut on AUM Fidelity tonight at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA.

“The trio’s congenial interplay is superlative,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins. “A compelling document of the saxophone trio tradition as a democratic exchange of ideas, Wildlife presents three masterful improvisers at the top of their game.”

Critics also called the record “deeply satisfying” (Bill Meyer, Dusted), “a thoroughly assured outing” (Julian Cowley, The Wire) and “a masterful showcase for three brilliant musicians” (Phil Freeman, AllMusic.com).


The Fully Celebrated Live In Brooklyn & Boston

May 28, 2009
Photo by Lillian Shrank

Photo by Lillian Shrank

The Fully Celebrated will fully celebrate their new CD, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity), at tonight’s concert at Barbès in Brooklyn and tomorrow night’s show at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA.

In his CD review in this week’s Time Out New York, Steve Dollar writes, “Boston free-bird Jim Hobbs and his trio, the Fully Celebrated, get it, and the proof is in its latest sweat-soaked album, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones. The disc has that airy, open feel and loose-limbed instinct that make the music immediately appealing, as well as an Ornette-ish pedigree in Hobbs’s darting alto saxophone flights. Timo Shanko’s basslines sometimes recall the clean harmonic mesh and folksy charm of Charlie Haden, but with drummer Django Carranza, the rhythm section glides seamlessly from dubby textures to bucket-of-blood swagger.”

For more early reviews, check out AllAboutJazz.com, All Music Guide, the Boston Phoenix and Music & More.


AAJ Video Of The Day: Eric Hofbauer & The Infrared Band

March 10, 2009

© 2008 Angela Rowlings/Boston Herald

Today’s featured jazz video at AllAboutJazz.com is Eric Hofbauer & The Infrared Band performing “Jac Mac Talkin'” at The Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA in November 2007.

That track appears on the band’s 2008 debut, Myth Understanding (Creative Nation Music).

The group will next perform at Hartford’s Real Art Ways on March 21st, as part of the Creative Nation Music Showcase Tour, followed by an appearance on the second night of the Creative Nation Music Festival at the Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre in Cambridge, MA on March 29th.