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Darcy James Argue


Darcy James Argue, “one of the top big band composers of our time”(Stereophile), is best known for Secret Society, an 18-piece group “renowned in the jazz world” (New York Times). Argue brings an outwardly anachronistic ensemble into the 21st century through his “ability to combine his love of jazz’s past with more contemporary sonics” and is celebrated as “a syncretic creator who avoids obvious imitation” (Pitchfork).

Acclaimed as an “innovative composer, arranger, and big band leader” by The New Yorker, Argue’s accolades include multiple GRAMMY nominations and a Latin GRAMMY Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and countless commissions and fellowships. His prescient 2016 Real Enemies, an album-length exploration of the politics of paranoia, was named one of the 20 best jazz albums of the decade by Stereogum. Like Real Enemies, Argue’s previous recordings — his debut Infernal Machines and his follow-up, Brooklyn Babylon — were nominated for both GRAMMY and JUNO awards.


Dynamic Maximum Tension

Label: Nonesuch Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Dymaxion; All In; Ebonite; Last Waltz for Levon; Wingèd Beasts; Your Enemies Are Asleep; Codebreaker; Ferromagnetic; Single-Cell Jitterbug; Tensile Curves; Mae West: Advice.

Article: Album Review

Miho Hazama M_Unit: Beyond Orbits

Read "Beyond Orbits" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Uno degli eventi al Monterey Jazz Festival del 2021 è stato il concerto dell'M_Unit di Miho Hazama, la giovane compositrice e bandleader giapponese che s'è imposta tra le figure più innovative della sua generazione. In quell'occasione Hazama ha presentato la suite in tre movimenti “Exoplanet" che--incisa poi in studio--costituisce il fulcro del disco appena pubblicato dalla ...

Article: Album Review

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Dynamic Maximum Tension

Read "Dynamic Maximum Tension" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Precursore nel 2009 (con l'innovativo Infernal Machines) del nuovo rinascimento orchestrale nel jazz, Darcy James Argue approda all'etichetta Nonesuch e pubblica il nuovo album in studio: un doppio CD realizzato con i consueti partner della Secret Society più l'aggiunta della cantante Cecile McLorin Salvant e della violinista Sara Caswell. A differenza degli ultimi ...


Article: Play This!

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Missing Parts

Read "Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Missing Parts" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

Like a few others (such as Maria Schneider and John Hollenbeck), Darcy James Argue seems bent on expanding the musical envelope of the big band via the instrumentation, repertoire and approach of his Secret Society. Though this piece from their 2013 Brooklyn Babylon project was designed to be heard in tandem with the highly stylized visuals ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Joni Mitchell, Daniel Villarreal, Anthony Wilson, Darcy James Argue & More

Read "Joni Mitchell, Daniel Villarreal, Anthony Wilson, Darcy James Argue & More" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Unexpected returns, B-sides that sound as good as the A-sides, tributes to rock and folk heroes, Impulse! signing another key band of today's scene, Colorfield Records establishing itself even more as the label to follow... this and more on this week's edition of Mondo Jazz!Happy listening!Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. ...


Article: Album Review

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Dynamic Maximum Tension

Read "Dynamic Maximum Tension" reviewed by Katharine (Katchie) Cartwright

Darcy James Argue's superb double-album Nonesuch debut offers compositions written throughout his career. He turns to twentieth-century thinkers for “ideas that can help us in the present, that we can reexamine and reconfigure for our own purposes." These include futurist designer Buckminster Fuller, cryptanalyst-computer scientist Alan Turing, composer-arranger Bob Brookmeyer, actress-screenwriter Mae West, trumpeter-mentor Laurie Frink, ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Jorma Tapio, Jose Lencastre & Roberto Ottaviano

Read "Jorma Tapio, Jose Lencastre & Roberto Ottaviano" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

This episode is a little sax-heavy, highlighted by Finnish reed master Jorma Tapio. He continues to keep the music of the late Finnish drumming icon, Edward Vesala, front and centre. Tapio leads his Bread For Soul on his most recent release. Other saxophonists with new albums to sample are Roberto Ottaviano from Italy, Portugal's Jose Lencastre, ...


Article: Liner Notes

Jennifer Wharton: Not a Novelty

Read "Jennifer Wharton: Not a Novelty" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The eponymous debut from Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm broke the mold. There are no two ways about it. And while some may look at a statement like that and cry hyperbole, history begs to differ. With rare exception, the bass trombone—a horn forever typecast as an anchor—has been marginalized. So the idea of an ensemble featuring that ...

Article: Album Review

Harry Skoler: Living in Sound - The Music of Charles Mingus

Read "Living in Sound - The Music of Charles Mingus" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Tra i vari tributi alle composizioni di Charles Mingus, pubblicati nell'anno del centenario della nascita, questo di Harry Skoler conferma la plasticità di quei temi, articolati e mutevoli, frutto della sua complessa personalità. L'autore e primo solista di questo progetto è un clarinettista--già allievo di Jimmy Giuffre al New England Conservatory e da ...


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