AMN Reviews: Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society – Brooklyn Babylon

photo-mainThe Secret Society’s 2009 release, Infernal Machines, surprised many including bandleader and composer Argue, by appearing on over 100 “best of” lists that year, and being nominated for a Grammy and a Juno. Even here on AMN, where we tend to focus on far left-of-center music, this big band recording was honored as the second best album of the year. And it was a very close second.

This month, the Secret Society and their leader are back with another offering. The eighteen-piece lineup is mostly the same, as is the overall sound and feel of the music. Ok, there are a few short diversions into marching band and latin spaces.  Yet, rich textures, catchy and complex melodies, and lush harmonization abound.

Brooklyn Babylon replaces the occasional all-out ass-kicking of its predecessor with a more restrained and introspective approach. Instead of hitting the boiling point with a guitar, horn, and drum attack, this time around the Society keeps it at a cerebral simmer.  That’s not to say the music isn’t aggressive – just that the aggression herein is tempered with a spaciousness and assiduous reserve.

While not your grandparent’s big band, Argue has done more for the genre in the last five years than anyone has since Ellington. This is, compelling, intelligent music worthy of the accolades that Infernal Machines received. My only request: less than a four-year wait for another release.

This Week in Buenos Aires

downloadFrom Buenos Aires,su Nueva Musica:

At El Archibrazo , Mario Bravo 411
Tuesday 23
I SET 22.00 hs
Residual ( free jazz )
Mauro Mourelos: flugel, laptop, teclado
Nicolás Ojeda: contrabajo
Pedro Bulgakov: batería
Juan Ortiz: Visuales
Caravana Colemánica ( free jazz )
Ada Rave: tenor sax
Nicolas Chientaroli: piano
Maximiliano Kirszner: contrabass
Fermín Merlo: drums

At Centro Nacional de la Música : México 564
Wednesday 24 , 20.00 hs
Ensamble Modelo62
Gemma Tripiana Muñoz (España-flutes), Jorge López García (España-clarinets), Justin Christensen (Canadá-trumpet), Santiago Lascurain (México- guitar), Teodora Stepancic (Serbia- piano), Astrid Haring (Holanda-harp), Klara Andrlova (República Checa- percussion), Rebecca Huber (Estados Unidos- violín), Jan Willem Troost (Holanda- cello), Vasilis Stefanopoulos (Grecia- contrabass), direction, Ezequiel Menalled (Argentina).
For 62 (2011) – Claudio Baroni (AR/NL)
Tulum (2010) – Cecilia Pereyra (AR)
E mi sovvien (2010) – Diderik Wagenaar (NL)
Hammer Smashed Phase (2012) – Janco Verduin (NL)
Sarabanda(2010) – Santiago Santero (AR)

At Vicente El Absurdo (Julián Álvarez 1886)
Thursday 25 , 21.00 hs
Ensamble Chancho a Cuerda ( avant garde/ unclasified)
Nahuel Carfi ,piano voice
Julián Galay, Bass
Agustín Lumerman ,percussion
Lautaro Matute ,guitar
Nicolás Rallis, guitar
Joaquín Chibán, violín
Manuel Rodríguez Riva, clarinets

At Virasoro bar, guatemala 4328
friday 26
22:30hs -INGRID
Richard Nant (trumpet & flugelhorn) – Alan Plachta (guitar)
Ezequiel Finger (vibraphone) – Gabriel Spiller (drums)
0:45hs TANGRAM ( New Jazz )
Lucas Goicoechea ( alto sax)
Fernando Toyos (contrabass)
Francisco Cosavella (drums)
Matías Suarez (guitar).

Saturday 27
22:30hs/ HERNAN MERLO 5TET ( free / new jazz )
Mauricio Deambrosi (sax)
Juan Filipelli (guitar)
Alan Zimmerman (piano)
Fermín Merlo (drums).
After Midnight show 00:45hs
-LA CORNETITA ( free jazz )
Pablo Puntoriero (sax, flutes, percussion)
Sergio Lamas (guitar)
Pablo Vazquez (contrabass)
Lulo Isod (drums).

At Casa Nacional del Bicentenario, Riobamba 985
SATURDAY 27 19.30 hs.
ENJAMBRE DE GUITARRAS ( free improv / conducted improvisations/ noise )
Conductor : Leandro Barzabal
Ensemble of electric guitars , different members at each concert
members TBA.

At Thelonius , Salguero 1184
SATURDAY 27 After midnight show
Francisco Salgado – Trombone & Harmónicas.
Iván Viaggio – Contrabass
Hernán Rodriguez -Drums

At Cafe Vinilo , Gorriti 3780
Wednesday 21.200 hs
La Orquesta Típica Agustín Guerrero
XXI century tango (contemporary avantgarde tango)
pieces by :
Agustín Guerrero, Diego Schissi, Sonia Possetti, Fernando Otero, Pablo Agri, Juan Martín Sacallerandi, Osvaldo Suarez y Silvina Shifman.

Av. Del Libertador 8151 – Friday 26 l 21 HS
Pablo Ledesma (soprano sax)
Pepe Angelillo (piano)
free jazz /free improv

At claro de luna, colegiales
Friday 26 . midnight show
UNOxUNO ( experimental free post rock / noise )

At Colon Theatre -Sala Principal,(Libertad 621)-
Saturday 27 , 20.30 hs.
Arditti Quartet (UK)
Cuarteto de Cuerdas Nº 4 de Béla Bartók (1927, 23 minutos)
Cuarteto de Cuerdas Nº 2 de Gyorgy Ligeti (1968, 21 minutos)
Dos Versiones de Gerardo Gandini (1981, 6 minutos)
Cuarteto de Cuerdas Nº 3: “Grido” de Helmut Lachenmann (2001, 25 minutos)

Musique Machine Reviews

Gravetemple (Photo credit: jonanamary)

From Musique Machine:

Gravetemple – Ambient/Ruin
Mandingo – Savage Rite
Barn Owl – V
Emme Ya – Chthonic Transmission (Abysmi Vel Daath)
Borbetomagus – Trente Belles Années
Vomir & Marc Hurtado – 2011
Hoggle – The Oubliette
Nar – What Lies Beneath The Woods
Gluttoness – Keep Me Warm In The Winter… Give Me Shade In The S
Hearse Fetish – The Bound Man
Automating – Givens

John Zorn Profiled

John Zorn (cropped version)
John Zorn (cropped version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yet another article on Zorn, in celebration of his turning 60.

Beyond his rightful place as a towering thinker and artist, John is modern music’s consummate doer. Here’s something else he told me way back: “I like to work with the materials that I have at hand. That’s something I learned from the New York avant-garde. I learned that from Jack Smith, who made art out of garbage, who made theater performances out of air. To make something out of nothing. That’s magic.” At 60, John Zorn’s alchemy is potent and resourceful and beautiful as ever, and ever more needed.