Jazz.com: The Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza

October 28, 2009
Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Tim Wilkins’ wrap-up of last week’s Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza is now posted at Jazz.com.

The event, presented by SearchandRestore.com and hosted by Darcy James Argue, took place at The Bell House on October 19th and featured Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, Andrew Durkin’s Industrial Jazz Group and Argue’s Secret Society.

Wilkins’ in-depth analysis includes interviews with SearchandRestore.com’s Adam Schatz and each of the bandleaders, as well as reviews of all three performances and the event’s impromptu finale.

“The evening had many surprises,” he writes, “foremost of which was the level of enthusiasm and imagination in a genre which has always been precarious for financial reasons, even in the best of times.”

In case you missed it, here‘s Nate Chinen’s New York Times review from October 21st.

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.

iC Media Poll Results: Part 2

July 20, 2009

Print publications

Today we explore the results from the second of five sections of our recent survey of 50 prominent jazz writers and editors.

This section, called Web and print habits, asked about the jazz-related publications, blogs and Web sites these professionals are reading, how they access them, and if what they read there impacts their own work.

As shown in the chart above, we first asked respondents to indicate which of the eight major jazz magazines they read on a regular basis. The list, which featured English-language publications only, included AllAboutJazz-New York, Cadence, DownBeat, Jazz Improv, Jazziz, JazzTimes, Signal To Noise and The Wire. We also made it possible for people to write-in any other publications as well.

The clear winner was AllAboutJazz-New York with 54.5%. The runner-up was Signal to Noise with 51.5%, followed by DownBeat and JazzTimes, which each scored 48.5%. The Wire (39.4%) and Cadence (18.2%) were next, while Jazziz and Jazz Improv each scored less than 10%.

One write-in vote each was cast for Cuadernos de JazzCoda, Improjazz, Jazz Journal and Ritmos del Mundo.

Print influence

We then asked if the coverage in these publications influenced the respondent’s own work (i.e. discovering new releases, coloring their judgement of artists/releases, etc.).

The results (above) were clear as 85.3% answered in the affirmative.

Web sites

Next we asked which jazz-related Web sites respondents visit on a regular basis, again spotlighting eight popular choices and giving people the chance to write-in any others they prefer.

AllAboutJazz.com was the clear favorite with 77.4%, with AllMusic.com finishing a close second with 61.3%. Next came Bagatellen with 32.3%, followed by Jazz.com and NPR Music, which each earned 29%. Avant Music News (16.1%), Jazz Corner (12.9%) and PopMatters (6.5%) also got multiple votes.

A significant number of write-in votes were cast for blogs, which we tackle in the next question, but Point of Departure was a popular choice (an admitted oversight on our part), as were Pitchfork and Dusted.

Web influence

Again, the majority (82.4%) indicated that the content of these sites influence their own work.

When tackling the subject of blogs, we asked respondents to list five of their favorites. Oddly enough, more than half skipped this question completely, and only 37.5% filled in all five slots. Some even dedicated one or more of the slots to expressing their dislike for reading and/or discussing blogs at all.

The calculations don’t apply to write-ins, but the most popular choices were Destination: Out, Do The Math, Free Jazz, Jazz Beyond Jazz, Lerterland and Secret Society.

Blog influence

But this time, when we asked if what they read on these blogs influenced their own work, only 44.4% said yes.

Blog access

When it comes to accessing the blogs they read, the Web is by far the most popular way with 94.1% giving that answer. Using a built-in blog reader in one’s browser and using a stand-alone RSS feed reader represented the rest of the vote with 8.8% each.

Twitter account

Finally, we asked if any of the respondents have a Twitter account.

Unlike with the blogs, everyone who took the survey answered this question, but only 35.3% said yes.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the third section of our survey, Personal Listening Habits, which features questions about writers’ interaction with jazz radio, their preferences for format (CD, MP3 and vinyl) when purchasing music for personal use, and the amount of music they purchase in a given year.

Please stay tuned!

Jazz.com: Darcy James Argue At The Moers Festival

July 6, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

In his July 5th review of the Moers Festival for Jazz.com, Stuart Nicholson writes:

“Since their New York debut in May 2005, word-of-mouth, the Internet and latterly the press have created a buzz around Argue and on the strength of the Moers performance, it has been for good reason. Their concert was the highlight of the whole four day event, and it came complete with an encore and standing ovation. It sounded and felt as if an important voice in jazz had arrived.”

Jazz.com Calls Infernal Machines Righteous

June 12, 2009

With just about half of 2009 already behind us, Jazz.com decided to make a list of 15 Righteous CDs Released So far in 2009, which we’re pleased to report included Darcy James Argue‘s recently released debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records).

If you ask us that record is more bodacious than righteous, but to each their own.

Reminder: Firehouse 12 To Present The Jamie Baum Septet November 14th

November 10, 2008


Photo by Enid Farber

Photo by Enid Farber

On Friday, November 14th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present New York flautist/composer Jamie Baum and her longstanding septet as part of the venue’s ongoing 2008 Fall Jazz Series.  This decade-old ensemble, featuring Shane Endsley (trumpet and flugelhorn), Doug Yates (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), Chris Komer (French horn), Aaron Goldberg (piano), Matt Penman (bass) and Jeff Hirshfield (drums), is on the road celebrating its most recent release, Solace (Sunnyside).  The disc, Ms. Baum’s fourth as a leader and second with this band, features ten of her original compositions, including a tribute to pianist Kenny Wheeler and a four-part commissioned suite inspired by composer Charles Ives.

“Embroidered with poignant melodies, elegant counter-lines, lush harmonies and shifting rhythms,” writes AllAboutJazz-New York reviewer Sean Patrick Fitzell, “Solace deftly melds formal elements of modern classical with broad improvisation.”  Critics have described the music as “both beautiful and poignant” (Ralph A. Miriello, Jazz.com), “endlessly imaginative and ingratiating” (Scott Albin, JazzTimes) and “a welcome take on that ongoing wrestling match between composition and improvisation” (John Ephland, DownBeat).  Time Out New York adds, “Her long-running ensemble negotiates intricate charts, including a Charles Ives–inspired suite commissioned by Chamber Music America, with exuberance and ease.”

Ms. Baum has spent the past two decades working in New York with a long list of noteworthy collaborators that includes John Abercrombie, Randy Brecker, Dave Douglas, Mick Goodrick, Fred Hersch, Paul Motian, George Russell and Kenny Werner.  She has also performed at major jazz clubs, festivals and conferences all around the world, including multiple tours as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador, and received commissions from organizations such as Doris Duke/Chamber Music America and Meet the Composer.  Critics have recognized her work as a jazz flautist with multiple nominations in both the annual DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalist Association Awards, and her previous release, Moving Forward, Standing Still (OmniTone), was featured in best-of-the-year lists in numerous prominent publications.

2008 Fall Jazz Series Schedule:

09/19: Steve Lantner Trio
09/26: Conference Call  
10/03: Ned Rothenberg’s Sync
10/10: Shakers n’ Bakers   
10/17: Josh Roseman’s Execution Quintet
10/24: Bad Touch
10/31: Magic 
11/07: George Schuller’s Circle Wide
11/14: Jamie Baum Septet
11/21: Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings
12/05: The Flatlands Collective 
12/12: Donny McCaslin Trio

Tickets and more information available at: