New York Times: Darius Jones Trio’s Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity)

December 28, 2009

Nate Chinen reviews alto saxophonist/composer Darius Jones’ debut, Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity) featuring Cooper-Moore (piano and diddley-bow) and Rakalam Bob Moses (drums), in today’s New York Times.

“Darius Jones has the capacity for a proud, rafters-raising tone on alto saxophone,” he writes, “and as an improviser he’s fearless but disciplined. He’s fond of the sustained, piercing cry, often pinching his intonation for dramatic effect. And rhythmically he rolls in waves, an approach that brilliantly complements Mr. Moses, whose contribution throughout this album is masterly. Together with the adaptability of Cooper-Moore—who plays piano as well as diddley bow, a single-stringed instrument of African origin and Southern blues connotation—it adds up to a powerfully soulful blend.”

Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines Makes Nate Chinen’s Top 10 Of 2009

December 19, 2009

Darcy James Argue‘s Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam) is number eight on Nate Chinen’s multi-genre top 10 list in Sunday’s New York Times.

“A wickedly intelligent dispatch from the fading border between orchestral jazz and post-rock and classical minimalism,” Chinen writes, “this impressive debut radiates self-assurance, and an almost chilling steadiness of conviction.”

NY Times: Bill Dixon’s Tapestries For Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12)

December 7, 2009

The new Critics’ Choice column in today’s New York Times features a review of Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra (Firehouse 12 Records) by Ben Ratliff.

“The low notes in Bill Dixon’s Tapestries for Small Orchestra loom like great whales,” he writes, “powering through the best of its long, patient, texture-obsessed performances. They’re played by double-bass and contrabass clarinet; above them floats a cloud of brass, directed and defined by Mr. Dixon’s own trumpet-playing. [He] has some deep and original thoughts about abstraction in music, and doesn’t leave beauty behind…a few of these pieces—especially ‘Motorcycle ’66: Reflections & Ruminations,’ ‘Adagio: Slow Mauve Scribblings’ and ‘Allusions I’—have a majesty for which you have to write in your own meaning.” 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

The event, presented by 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’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.

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.

David S. Ware In The New York Times

October 17, 2009
Photo by Joshua Bright for The New York Times

Photo by Joshua Bright for The New York Times

In today’s New York Times, Susan Dominus tells the story of eminent saxophonist David S. Ware‘s recent kidney transplant, his relationship with donor Laura Mehr and his triumphant return to performing this past Thursday night.

Fay Victor In The Sunday New York Times

October 11, 2009

© DAZDI 2009

We’re very pleased to report that today’s New York Times features a review of The Fay Victor Ensemble’s The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music) by Ben Ratliff.

“A jazz singer who makes her notes slow, wide and meaningful—she often sounds like an evening-out of Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln—Fay Victor uses a great and simple concept on The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music)…a studio recording organized like a live set. This means the band flows from one song into another, without knowing where it’s going next…these songs have distinct melodic character: fascinating ballads with Anders Nilsson’s country-bluesy guitar soloing, drum chants, some careful free improvising.”