Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society To Perform Twice During 2010 APAP Conference

December 8, 2009

Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Composer Darcy James Argue and his acclaimed ensemble, Secret Society, will perform on back-to-back nights in early January during the 2010 Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Conference in New York. On Friday, January 8th at 6:20 p.m., the group will play a short set at Le Poisson Rouge as part of the 2010 NYC Winter JazzFest. The following night at The Jazz Gallery, the band will play two full sets, starting at 9:00 and 10:30 p.m. respectively, and unveil a newly written composition.

“Le Poisson Rouge and The Jazz Gallery are our two favorite venues to play in New York,” Argue explains, “as you can probably tell by the frequency with which we return. They put the music first and treat the artists with basic human decency—qualities that are vanishingly rare, especially in today’s climate. These venues are exceptional in other ways: the Jazz Gallery is one of NYC’s few independent, not-for-profit performance spaces devoted exclusively to jazz, while Le Poisson Rouge is the only club in town where you can listen to a performance of the complete Xenakis string quartets while knocking back a Red Stripe.”

“A year ago,” he continues, “we kicked off The Jazz Gallery’s Large Ensemble Commissions Series. Immediately thereafter we went into the studio to record Infernal Machines. It would appear The Jazz Gallery is an auspicious spot to present new works. I figured we’d best do it again. Also, we are extremely excited to be a part of this year’s Winter JazzFest, which is a rare opportunity to hear sets by established artists like Nicholas Payton and Matt Wilson on the same bill as killing new talent like Mark Guiliana and Chelsea Baratz. The lineup represents a broad spectrum of the most exciting music coming out of the New York jazz scene right now, without getting hung up on a particular scene or sound.”

After slowly developing his sound over the course of the past four years, Argue became one of the most talked about new voices of 2009 thanks to the response to his debut release, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), and the series of performances that followed in New York, Germany, The Netherlands and his native Canada. The new decade begins where the last one left off, with two notable January performances in New York followed by upcoming dates in Boston and beyond. In addition to the new piece being premiered at The Jazz Gallery, Argue will also be working on a new composition for the new music ensemble, Newspeak, thanks to a grant from the American Composers Forum’s Jerome Composers Commissioning Program.

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New Darcy James Argue Download

October 17, 2009

Both sets of Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society performing at The Jazz Gallery on September 18th are now available for download.

“Secret Society doesn’t exactly swing so much as groove, stomp and sort of rock,” wrote Howard Mandel in his blog review of the show. “There’s a touch of minimalism somewhere in composer-conductor DJA’s background, and some very sly wit that stops well short of dire irony.”

If you like what you hear, please consider making a donation to cover the 18-piece band’s often overwhelming overhead costs through Fractured Atlas.


Darcy James Argue On WNYC’s Soundcheck Today

September 21, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

Today’s episode of the popular music talk show, Soundcheck, will feature a live performance by Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society.

Listeners in the New York area can tune in to WNYC 93.9 FM at 2:00 p.m., while those of us existing outside Metropolis can tune in live online or check in later to hear the segment via streaming audio.

Argue and his acclaimed ensemble headlined opening night of the ongoing New Languages Festival on Thursday and performed two sets at The Jazz Gallery on Friday.

They will next perform as the headliners at SearchandRestore.com’s Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza at The Bell House on October 19th.


Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings At Jazz Gallery Tomorrow

September 18, 2009

Photo by Scott Friedlander

Tomorrow night, cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum and his improvising chamber ensemble, SpiderMonkey Strings, will celebrate the release of their second recording, Madeleine Dreams (Firehouse 12 Records), with a two-set performance at New York’s Jazz Gallery.

The centerpiece of the record is Bynum’s six-movement title suite—what he calls a secular oratorio—based on his sister’s novel, Madeleine is Sleeping (Harcourt). It also features his distinctive arrangements of music by Ornette Coleman, Duke Ellington and Sun Ra that corresponds with the recording’s central theme of “the logic of dreams.”

This is the most recent in a string of well-received recordings featuring Bynum as a leader/co-leader that includes Positive Catastrophe’s Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records), The Thirteenth Assembly’s (un)sentimental (Important Records), and the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet’s Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY).

Created seven years ago, Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings currently features Kyoko Kitamura (voice), Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Jessica Pavone (viola), Tomas Ulrich (cello), Pete Fitzpatrick (guitar), Joseph Daley (tuba) and Luther Gray (drums).


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.


New Taylor Ho Bynum CD Released Today

September 15, 2009
Photo by Scott Friedlander

Photo by Scott Friedlander

Cornetist/composer Taylor Ho Bynum‘s latest recording as a leader, Madeleine Dreams (Firehouse 12 Records), officially hits the streets today.

The second release from his improvising chamber group, SpiderMonkey Strings, the record documents the title suite, a secular oratorio the group has been performing at concerts around the world since early 2008, as well as innovative arrangements of music by Ornette Coleman, Duke Ellington and Sun Ra.

This seven year-old ensemble features Kyoko Kitamura (voice), Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Jessica Pavone (viola), Tomas Ulrich (cello), Pete Fitzpatrick (guitar), Joseph Daley (tuba) and Luther Gray (drums).

Bynum and the group will celebrate with two sets at New York’s Jazz Gallery on Saturday, September 19th.

In his listing for the performance in the Village Voice, Jim Macnie writes, “Whether he’s making cinematic soundscapes for snippets of his sister’s surrealistic novel, or bringing a heavenly tone to such earthy fare as Ellington’s ‘The Mooche,’ the cornet player makes music that places nuance on the top of the priority list. The vocals are fetching and flighty; the repertory choices discerning and deft.”


New Darcy James Argue Interview At Jazz.com

September 8, 2009
Photo by Lindsay Beyerstein

Photo by Lindsay Beyerstein

Stuart Nicholson’s new interview with Darcy James Argue was posted at Jazz.com over the holiday weekend.

Click here to check it out.

Argue and his acclaimed big band, Secret Society, will next perform on September 17th at the fifth annual New Languages Festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, followed the next night by two sets at the Jazz Gallery in Manhattan.