December 30, 2009
Larry Blumenfeld writes about his favorite CDs of the year, including Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam), in today’s Wall Street Journal.
“Composer and big-band leader Darcy James Argue’s blog contains some of the most literate and invigorating writing about modern jazz and its context—free of cliché, wary of dogma, catholic about tastes, and fastidious about details. The same can be said of Mr. Argue’s compositions for the extraordinary ensemble he conducts. This debut studio recording reveals something fully matured: brimming with fresh ideas; elegant in its combination of disparate influences (from distorted electric guitar to magisterial wind-instrument arrangements to minimalist rhythms); and accomplished in execution.”
December 29, 2008
In the December 27th issue of the Wall Street Journal, Larry Blumenfeld included the William Parker Quartet’s Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity) in his list of five standout jazz recordings of 2008.
He writes, “Petit Oiseau is the strongest offering yet from Mr. Parker’s quartet. This music celebrates free improvisation at its highest level, yet in accessible form; that’s due to the succinct beauty of Mr. Parker’s themes and the force of his bass grooves, most of which would work just as well grounding rhythm-and-blues songs.”