NY Times: The Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza

October 21, 2009
Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Nate Chinen reviews Monday night’s Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza at The Bell House in today’s New York Times.

The performances of all three ensembles are recounted, including the headliners, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, which Chinen writes, “played a bracing final set” featuring “an array of backbeats, breakbeats and Latin American polyrhythm, with the flow largely dictated by Mr. Argue, who conducted with brisk, acute gestures.”

If you missed them on Monday, you can catch Argue and the band at tonight’s New Amsterdam Records/Cantaloupe Music CMJ Showcase at Le Poisson Rouge and on November 25th at Iridium Jazz Club.

Darcy James Argue At Iridium November 25th

October 1, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

On Wednesday, November 25th, composer/conductor Darcy James Argue and his acclaimed big band, Secret Society, will make their first-ever appearance at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club. The 18-piece ensemble, which released its highly regarded debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), in May, will play two sets, beginning at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. For this performance, Argue and the band will welcome special guest drummer Kendrick Scott (Terence Blanchard, Jimmy Greene, Gretchen Parlato).

“Kendrick last played with Secret Society in November 2006 at the Bowery Poetry Club,” Argue explains, “and it’s a thrill to welcome him back into the fold. I’m a huge fan of his playing—he’s both highly inventive and sublimely grooving, and he’s an amazing listener. I’ve written a lot of music since he last played with us and I’m very excited to hear what Kendrick will bring to that material.” He adds, “I’m pleased our first performance at a marquee NYC jazz club happens to be at the one that’s been open-minded enough to host performances by groups like Anthony Braxton’s 12+1tet and the Cecil Taylor Big Band.”

Thanks to the phenomenal critical response to Infernal Machines, which gave credence to the strong word-of-mouth following the band has built over the past four years, Argue is one of 2009’s most talked about jazz musicians. Active as both a composer/bandleader and influential blogger, his recent career highlights include a series of features in jazz and non-jazz publications alike, three nominations in this year’s Jazz Journalists Association Awards and high profile concerts in New York as well as Germany, The Netherlands and his native Canada, where he conducted an all-star performance of a new, specially commissioned piece at the National Jazz Awards. Most recently, he was tapped to write the liner notes for Dave Douglas’ forthcoming big band release, A Single Sky (Greenleaf).

Join Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society Tonight And Friday

September 17, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

Composer Darcy James Argue‘s innovative big band Secret Society will perform back-to-back gigs in New York starting tonight when it headlines the opening night of the fifth annual New Languages Festival at McCarren Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Tomorrow night the group will perform two sets at Manhattan’s Jazz Gallery, which commissioned two of the tracks heard on its acclaimed debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam).

These dates will kick-off the band’s busy fall performance schedule around New York, which also includes a headlining slot at SearchandRestore.com’s Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza at The Bell House on October 19th and two sets at Iridium Jazz Club on November 25th.