14 March 2017
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
Sebastian Noelle, guitar
Adam Birnbaum, piano
Matt Clohesy, bass
Richie Barshay, drums
05 January 2017
Secret Society plays
NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017 on Friday, January 6 at SubCulture (7:20 PM set) performing selections from Real Enemies — “ ” Nate Chinen, The most culturally resonant jazz album of 2016 The New York Times).
Aided and abetted by:
Sebastian Noelle, guitar
Carmen Staaf, piano
Matt Clohesy, bass
Jon Wikan, drums
23 December 2016
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:
Here’s a roundup of critical praise for
— Nate Chinen, “The most culturally resonant jazz album of 2016.” The New York Times
— Fred Kaplan, “The music scintillates… one of the best jazz albums of 2016.” Slate
— David Hadju, “A work of harrowing prescience by a great young composer who gets greater every year.” The Nation
— Seth Colter Walls, is Argue’s most varied album yet, and his most thematically ambitious. 8.3/10” “Real Enemies Pitchfork
— Jon Garelick, “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.” The Boston Globe
— John L. Walters, “Argue’s Real Enemies is a mind-blowing example of truly great, era-defining jazz composition, and a contender for album of the year.” London Jazz News
— Peter Margasak, “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.” Chicago Reader
— Milo Miles, “A sonic incarnation of our strange and dangerous times… slides in and around numerous styles with cloak-and-dagger stealth.” The Village Voice
— Jim Macnie, “Glows with subtleties and resounds with punch. ★★★★” DownBeat
— Peter Hum, “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.” Ottawa Citizen
— Molly Sheridan, “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.” NewMusicBox
— Dan Lehner, “It’s a crime documentary score about the last 70 years.” Wits United
— Richard Sanford, “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.” Agit Reader
06 December 2016
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:
29 October 2016
Stream or purchase
Real Enemies on Bandcamp.
Watch the in-the-studio video of John Ellis’s solo on “The Enemy Within”: