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26 June 2017

July 4 @ Jazz Standard


 

Steeply made motions of weary familiarity. ‘Herrrrrre we go.’

Marathe ignored this. ‘Are we not all of us fanatics? I say only what you of the U.S.A. only pretend you do not know. Attachments are of great seriousness. Choose your attachments carefully. Choose your temple of fanaticism with great care. What you wish to sing of as tragic love is an attachment not carefully chosen. Die for one person? This is a craziness. Persons change, leave, die, become ill. They leave, lie, go mad, have sickness, betray you, die. Your nation outlives you. A great cause outlives you.’

‘How are your wife and kids doing, up there, by the way?’

‘You U.S.A.’s do not seem to believe you may each choose what to die for. Love of a woman, the sexual, it bends back in on the self, makes you narrow, maybe crazy. Choose with care. Love of your nation, your country, and people, it enlarges the heart. Something bigger than the self.’

Steeply laid a hand between his misdirected breasts: ‘Ohh … Canada…’

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

On this Interdependence Independence Day, join us as my international cabal of co-conspirators and I defiantly celebrate the best things about America: exuberantly maximalist novelists like David Foster Wallace. Eccentric innovators like Buckminster Fuller. Soulful musical cross-pollinators like Levon Helm. And geniuses beyond category like Duke Ellington. We will be playing music inspired by all of these individuals and more.

Oh, and there will be barbecue (yes, actual barbecue), whiskey (with an “e”), and the greatest salt peanuts known to man.

Come home, America. Come to Jazz Standard on July 4. Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

WINDS
Dave Pietro
Rob Wilkerson
Sam Sadigursky
John Ellis
Carl Maraghi

TRUMPETS
Seneca Black
Josh Deutsch
Matt Holman
Nadje Noordhuis
Sam Hoyt

TROMBONES
Mike Fahie
Ryan Keberle
Jacob Garchik
Jennifer Wharton

RHYTHM
Sebastian Noelle, guitar
Adam Birnbaum, piano
Matt Clohesy, bass
Jon Wikan, drums

COMPOSER-CONDUCTOR
Darcy James Argue


14 March 2017

Secret Society @ Celebrity Series of Boston’s Stave Sessions


Photo: Bruce T. Martin

My Secret Society co-conspirators and I are proud to be returning to Boston on Thursday, March 23 to perform in the Celebrity Series’ Stave Sessions, a weeklong festival of independent, open-eared music, set in Berklee’s award-winning 160 Mass Ave space. We’ll be presenting music drawn from the entire span of Secret Society’s 11 years together, including some unrecorded gems.

For this performance, we are pleased to welcome drummer Richie Barshay back into the fold. Richie and I first met in Boston while we were both studying at New England Conservatory, and he performed some of my earliest compositions for bigband. Needless to say, it’s great to be reunited, especially back in the city where I acquired my lifelong bigband habit.

The rest of the Stave Sessions series includes performances by yMusic, Melissa Aldana’s quintet, and TIGUE and Innov Gnawa. Needless to say we are thrilled to be in such great company.

Tickets can be had here.

CO-CONSPIRATORS
WINDS
Alejandro Aviles
Rob Wilkerson
Sam Sadigursky
John Ellis
Carl Maraghi

TRUMPETS
Seneca Black
Jonathan Powell
Matt Holman
Nadje Noordhuis
David Smith

TROMBONES
Mike Fahie
Ryan Keberle
Jacob Garchik
Jennifer Wharton

RHYTHM
Sebastian Noelle, guitar
Adam Birnbaum, piano
Matt Clohesy, bass
Richie Barshay, drums


05 January 2017

Secret Society @ Winter Jazzfest, 6 January 2017


Secret Society plays NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017 on Friday, January 6 at SubCulture (7:20 PM set) performing selections from Real Enemies — “The most culturally resonant jazz album of 2016” Nate Chinen, The New York Times).

Aided and abetted by:

WINDS
Dave Pietro
Rob Wilkerson
Chris Speed
John Ellis
Carl Maraghi

TRUMPETS
Seneca Black
Jonathan Powell
Matt Holman
Nadje Noordhuis
Ingrid Jensen

TROMBONES
Mike Fahie
Ryan Keberle
Jacob Garchik
George Flynn

RHYTHM
Sebastian Noelle, guitar
Carmen Staaf, piano
Matt Clohesy, bass
Jon Wikan, drums


23 December 2016

Real Enemies Reviews


If you are a member of the Recording Academy, I hope you will consider giving Real Enemies your vote. You can listen to the album here:

https://darcyjamesargue.bandcamp.com/album/real-enemies

Here’s a roundup of critical praise for Real Enemies:

“The most culturally resonant jazz album of 2016.” — Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“The music scintillates… one of the best jazz albums of 2016.” — Fred Kaplan, Slate

“A work of harrowing prescience by a great young composer who gets greater every year.” — David Hadju, The Nation

“Real Enemies is Argue’s most varied album yet, and his most thematically ambitious. 8.3/10” — Seth Colter Walls, Pitchfork

“No less than Argue’s attempt to convey, musically, ‘a social history of paranoia in the United States since World War I.’ Influenced by the 12-tone sounds of ’70s Hollywood cinema, he crafted a piece that was chilling, funny, and rollicking with varied grooves, strong solos, and the occasional drop-in spoken-word. Top 10 Jazz album of 2016.” — Jon Garelick, The Boston Globe

“Argue’s Real Enemies is a mind-blowing example of truly great, era-defining jazz composition, and a contender for album of the year.” — John L. Walters, London Jazz News

“Few jazz orchestras still exist these days, but Secret Society is one of the best and most probing. Argue has written and arranged 13 pieces that stand up to the conceptual underpinnings he’s chosen. One of the 10 best jazz records of 2016.” — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

“A sonic incarnation of our strange and dangerous times… slides in and around numerous styles with cloak-and-dagger stealth.” — Milo Miles, The Village Voice

“Glows with subtleties and resounds with punch. ★★★★” — Jim Macnie, DownBeat

“Best heard from start to finish without interruption, Argue’s suite has a long arc and overlays of different emotion. But with its austere closing track, ‘You Are Here,’ it is above all a grim reality check and call to socio-political awareness.” — Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

“Argue has a gift for attracting committed, remarkable players and feeding them a stream of witty and sophisticated material, a potent mix that excites the audience’s ears as well as their toes. 2016 Staff Pick.” — Molly Sheridan, NewMusicBox

“It’s a crime documentary score about the last 70 years.” — Dan Lehner, Wits United

“It’s a record that makes you nod along in feeling and in recognition, but it also grabs your collar and reminds you to look deeper, to question those impulses, and it makes you love it more for having done so.” — Richard Sanford, Agit Reader


06 December 2016

GRAMMY nomination for Real Enemies


grammy

I’m thrilled to announce that Real Enemies has been nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

Deepest thanks to all of my Secret Society co-conpsirators — this nomination is a testament to the extraordinary musicianship you all brought to the project.

Take a look behind the scenes of the Real Enemies recording sessions: