Reviews that mention Darcy James Argue

May 3, 2017

Darcy James Argue Secret Society

Real Enemies
New Amsterdam Records NWAM081.

By Ken Waxman

Taking the title as satirically as it’s meant to be, Real Enemies is an extended multi-media meditation on paranoia and conspiracy theories – and you can dance to it. Created by Vancouver-born composer Darcy James Argue and interpreted by 18 of New York’s top improvisers, the 13 tracks delve into all manner of 20th and 21st Century conspiracy theories ranging from subversive Communist threats to UFO sightings. Besides perceptive sonic pinpoints added by a slew of soloist, the thesis is amplified by narration taken from various books on the subject read by actor James Urbaniak as well as speeches and mediations on, and denials of, the subjects from figures as different as John F. Kennedy and Dick Cheney. As for the dancing part, when the band cuts lose on tracks such as “Dark Alliance” and “Casus Belli”, stuttering trombone blats from either Ryan Keberle or Mike Fahie evolving atop a Mambo-styled backbeat courtesy of Matt Clohesy’s electric bass thumb pops and Jon Wikan’s percussion slaps build up to a rhythm that’s half Motown and half-Mexican, allowing the music to swing, even despite ponderous speeches about 9-11 on the second tune. MORE

July 10, 2013

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

Brooklyn Babylon
New Amsterdam Records NWAM 048

The Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra /Barry Guy

Schweben

Maya Records MCD 1201

Maria Faust

Jazz Catastrophe

Barefoot Records BFREC025

Collectivo Bassefere

Senza Alibi

Collectivo Bassefere 85015

SITA: Sophisticated Expression From Large Improv Ensembles

By Ken Waxman

Fuelled by innovation rather than nostalgia, composers and arrangers continue to utilize the sonic parameters of larger ensembles to help tell their stories in the most expansive way possible. Whether it’s exposing individual original compositions or organizing the sessions into a thematic whole, these vital CD demonstrate why a big band of is still favored as an expressive vehicle for both free-form improvisation and tightly plotted compositions. MORE