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.”
August 5, 2009
Despite the fact that we’re already in the first week of August (the eighth month on the calendar for those of you scoring at home), the best-of lists for the first half of the year continue to trickle in.
This has been a pretty popular new trend this year, especially with bloggers, and late or no we’re not complaining, especially when our clients are still appearing on them.
And none of our clients has been found quite so list-worthy as Darcy James Argue, whose May debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam), continues to capture the hearts and minds of critics everywhere.
That includes both the Ottawa Citizen‘s Peter Hum and Village Voice and DownBeat contributor Jim Macnie, who also chose John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12), the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet’s Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY) and the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) among his favorites, though technically the last two actually came out in 2008.
As always, we thank all our media contacts for their ongoing support of independent creative improvised music.