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Chicago Jazz Festival 2018

Read "Chicago Jazz Festival 2018" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Chicago Jazz Festival Chicago, IL August 29-September 2, 2018 A Beginner's Guide to the Chicago Jazz Festival The Chicago Jazz Festival is a free event scheduled each Labor Day weekend and offering over fifty concerts in various outdoor venues. The 40th edition--running from August 29 to September 3, 2018--is now in the books. If you attended this year--or in recent years past--you already have a pretty good idea whether or not the Chicago Jazz ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Brooklyn Babylon

Read "Brooklyn Babylon" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Part of the audience engagement process in multimedia performance is the integral dynamic of conflict and resolution between forms. Take one of them away and you have a different sensory experience. So, having witnessed graphic artist Danijel Zezelj and Darcy James Argue's Secret Society create separate but integrated works of art in the live performance of Brooklyn Babylon, it's challenging to antedate expectations around what may seem to be one part of an equation. However, Argue's release of the suite ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Infernal Machines

Read "Infernal Machines" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

A little more than a decade ago, Maria Schneider served notice that big band jazz was no longer the domain of our grandparents. She has gone on to own the genre and now, Brooklyn resident and star Schneider pupil, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society takes it to an exceptional place with his debut, Infernal Machines. What is exceptional is how true to the pure nature of jazz this collection is; full of innovation, creativity, and bold, daring departures from the ...

MEGAPHONE

Either/Or (No More)

Read "Either/Or (No More)" reviewed by Darcy James Argue

You know that party game where you present people with a forced choice that's actually a litmus test for distinguishing between two kinds of people? Here, let's play--pick one (and only one): Matisse or Picasso? Federer or Nadal? The Daily Show or The Colbert Report? Since I am a “jazz composer" by training and self-identification, it seems like I'm always being asked to play this game: improvisation or composition? I am not alone in this--every composer who ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Infernal Machines

Read "Infernal Machines" reviewed by Ted Gordon

From the first listening of this album, it is clear that Darcy James Argue intends to make a strong statement about the boundaries of musical genres--of jazz and new music--as well as about musical aesthetics and technology. This album consists of Argue's compositions for “big band" (or “large ensemble," depending on whom you ask) with a dark, modernistic edge; most numbers contain pulsating drumbeats and wildly spiraling minor and diminished harmonies. An electric guitar, often distorted, also pops up here ...

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Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Infernal Machines

Read "Infernal Machines" reviewed by David Rickert

What's a guy to do when he has aspirations to form a big band in this day and age? Certainly the odds are against him; for one thing, there isn't much of a market for it, and the cost of taking that many musicians on the road (much less paying them) can be cost prohibitive. But if you're Darcy James Argue, you say to hell with it and form a big band anyway. The result is the Secret Society and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Darcy James Argue: Infernal Machines

Read "Infernal Machines" reviewed by Lyn Horton

Desiring to be ensconced in an environment of music is a dream. Dreams can come true. And Darcy James Argue's band, Secret Society, catches those dreams in its first recorded effort. Taking its title from how John Philip Sousa described the phonograph at the turn of the 20th century, Infernal Machines articulates Argue's music well, in an orchestral mode, employing striking instrumental riffs, exquisite solos and exhibiting multi-instrumental, multi-faceted unity.

The musical hooks in this record are exceedingly strong. Starting ...


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