December 23, 2009
Resident jazz critic Devin Leonard includes Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam) on his 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2009 list in today’s New York Observer.
“As the name of his nu big band suggests” Leonard writes, “the composer-bandleader-blogger Darcy James Argue sees himself as an artistic insurgent. He is a former student of trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, celebrated for his work as an arranger who broke new ground as an arranger for the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra in the sixties and seventies. But Infernal Machines also draws on the minimalism of Steve Reich and the apocalyptic rock and roll of Radiohead. This is also music with a message, a decidedly leftist one. What else would you expect from a Canadian jazz man resettled in Carroll Gardens?”
December 22, 2009
It is our pleasure to report that Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam), Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records), Darius Jones’ Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity) and David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM Fidelity) account for four of the ten recordings included in Destination:Out’s Fave Jazz Jamz of 2009.
Three other AUM Fidelity releases, Cleaver/Parker/Taborn’s Farmers By Nature, Morris/Cancura/Gray’s Wildlife and the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today On Earth, were also mentioned in this post, which features an exclusive download from Jones’ Man’ish Boy.
December 22, 2009
Jim Macnie (DownBeat, Village Voice, et al.) listed his Top 10 Jazz CDs of 2009 yesterday on his blog, Lament for a Straight Line, and we’re proud to report Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam) and John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records) made the cut.
“The composer-arranger has an artistic GPS system built into his chest,” writes Macnie of Argue. “The way his seven extended pieces flow from one passage to another is deeply inspired, and the methods behind his integration of electric guitar storms and a gaggle of horns are sage. Best part: the big band constantly throws its listeners curve after curve without sounding fractured or episodic.”
In his blurb about Hébert, Macnie writes, “One of the era’s most gripping bassists puts reeds and flutes up front for a freebop session that stretches from ancient Cajun artifacts to abstract ballads lyrical enough to have fallen from Don Cherry’s pen. What the pieces lack in compositional distinction, they make up for in textural richness. And atmosphere—mood means a lot to Hebert.”
December 21, 2009
Time Out New York‘s Music Editor Steve Smith chose Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam) as the only jazz record on his 10 best albums of 2009 list, published in the latest issue.
“Composer and bandleader Argue’s highly anticipated debut offered an expansive, inclusive new jazz that’s open to all,” Smith wrote.
The magazine’s five-star review of Infernal Machines, written by David R. Adler for the May 7th issue, can be found here.
December 19, 2009
Darcy James Argue‘s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam) is number eight on Nate Chinen’s multi-genre top 10 list in Sunday’s New York Times.
“A wickedly intelligent dispatch from the fading border between orchestral jazz and post-rock and classical minimalism,” Chinen writes, “this impressive debut radiates self-assurance, and an almost chilling steadiness of conviction.”
December 18, 2009
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.”
December 17, 2009
Congratulations to both Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records) and the Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity) on being voted one of JazzTimes‘ Top 50 New Releases of 2009, as compiled from year-end lists submitted by the magazine’s contributing writers and editors.