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:

Dave Pietro
Rob Wilkerson
Chris Speed
John Ellis
Carl Maraghi

Seneca Black
Jonathan Powell
Matt Holman
Nadje Noordhuis
Ingrid Jensen

Mike Fahie
Ryan Keberle
Jacob Garchik
George Flynn

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:

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


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

For Your GRAMMY Consideration


Stream or purchase Real Enemies on Bandcamp.

Watch the in-the-studio video of John Ellis’s solo on “The Enemy Within”:

30 September 2016



Secret Society’s long-awaited new recording, REAL ENEMIES, is now available from Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon.

“The ingenuity and urgency of the music, as executed Mr. Argue’s state-of-the-art big band, couldn’t be clearer (or timelier).”
Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Think of it as the sonic incarnation of our strange and dangerous times… serious, incisive, and tinged with acid humor.”
Milo Miles, The Village Voice

“An oddball masterpiece… creepy fun soulful shiversome stuff… an original, even brilliant piece of work.”
Fred Kaplan, Stereophile

We are celebrating with performances on Sunday, October 2 at Broooklyn’s National Sawdust and Friday, October 7 at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.