Darcy James Argue's Secret Society

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Sort Name
Darcy James
Artist Position
18.00
Artist Genre
Biography (Excerpt)

Composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue and his Secret Society ensemble make their Nonesuch Records debut with Dynamic Maximum Tension. The album pays homage to some of Argue’s key influences with original songs dedicated to R. Buckminster Fuller, Alan Turing, and Mae West. Cécile McLorin Salvant joins the ensemble for “Mae West: Advice.” Dynamic Maximum Tension’s eleven tracks, on two CDs, also include a response to Duke Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue,” titled “Tensile Curves,” among other originals.

Weight
10
Active Artist
No
Facebook URL
https://www.facebook.com/secretsocietymusic
Twitter URL
https://twitter.com/darcyjamesargue
Instagram URL
https://www.instagram.com/darcyjamesargue/
Youtube URL
https://www.youtube.com/user/darcyjamesargue

Composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue and his Secret Society ensemble make their Nonesuch Records debut with Dynamic Maximum Tension on September 8, 2023. The album pays homage to some of Argue’s key influences with original songs dedicated to R. Buckminster Fuller, Alan Turing, and Mae West. Fellow Nonesuch artist Cécile McLorin Salvant, with whom Argue collaborated on her long-form musical fable Ogresse, joins the ensemble for “Mae West: Advice.” Dynamic Maximum Tension’s eleven tracks, on two CDs, also include a response to Duke Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue,” titled “Tensile Curves,” among other original songs.

The album track “Dymaxion”—a portmanteau of “dynamic maximum tension”—takes its name from the term coined by architect and inventor Fuller to describe his concept of using technology and resources to maximum advantage. “Dymaxion” is available today, June 29, along with this video from the song’s recording session.

Argue says of his inspiration for the music: “It feels like our culture today is headed in a profoundly dystopian direction. By engaging with figures like Buckminster Fuller, Alan Turing, and Mae West, I was trying to connect to a more optimistic time, trying to reclaim a sense of agency, trying to rekindle my faith in our ability to grab the future and shape it ourselves.”

Darcy James Argue, “one of the top big band composers of our time” (Stereophile), is best known for Secret Society, an eighteen-piece group “renowned in the jazz world” (New York Times). Argue brings an outwardly anachronistic ensemble into the 21st century through his “ability to combine his love of jazz’s past with more contemporary sonics” and is celebrated as “a syncretic creator who avoids obvious imitation” (Pitchfork).

Acclaimed as an “innovative composer, arranger, and big band leader” by the New Yorker, Argue’s accolades include multiple Grammy nominations and a Latin Grammy Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and countless commissions and fellowships. His prescient 2016 Real Enemies, an album-length exploration of the politics of paranoia, was named one of the twenty best jazz albums of the decade by Stereogum. Like Real Enemies, Argue’s previous recordings—his debut Infernal Machines and his follow-up, Brooklyn Babylon—were nominated for both Grammy and Juno awards.

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Latest Release

  • September 8, 2023

    Composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue and his Secret Society ensemble make their Nonesuch Records debut with Dynamic Maximum Tension. The album pays homage to some of Argue’s key influences with original songs dedicated to R. Buckminster Fuller, Alan Turing, and Mae West. Cécile McLorin Salvant joins the ensemble for “Mae West: Advice.” Dynamic Maximum Tension’s eleven tracks, on two CDs, also include a response to Duke Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue,” titled “Tensile Curves,” among other originals. Grammy Nominee for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

Releases

News

  • May 13, 2024

    Congratulations to Cécile McLorin Salvant, Darcy James Argue, Mary Halvorson, and Ambrose Akinmusire, who have all won the Jazz Journalists Association's 2024 JJA Jazz Awards: Salvant for Female Vocalist of the Year, Argue for Arranger of the Year, Halvorson for Guitarist of the Year, and Akinmusire for Trumpeter of the Year.

  • April 29, 2024

    Congratulations to Darcy James Argue, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Mary Halvorson, and Ambrose Akinmusire, who have all been nominated in the Jazz Journalists Association's 2024 JJA Jazz Awards: Argue for Composer of the Year, Arranger of the Year, Large Ensemble of the Year for Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, and Record of the Year for the group's Dynamic Maximum Tension; Salvant for Jazz Musician of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Record of the Year for Mélusine; Halvorson for Guitarist of the Year; and Akinmusire for Trumpeter of the Year. Winners will be announced on May 8.

Tour

Thu, Jun 20
New York, NY
The Jazz Gallery
Thu, Jun 20
New York, NY
The Jazz Gallery
Fri, Jun 21
Ottawa, ON
National Arts Centre Azrieli Studio
Fri, Jun 21
Ottawa, ON
National Arts Centre Azrieli Studio
Sun, Jul 14
Rotterdam,
Ahoy
Sun, Jul 14
Rotterdam,
Ahoy
Mon, Jul 15
Rome,
Casa del Jazz
Mon, Jul 15
Rome,
Casa del Jazz

Photos

About Darcy James Argue's Secret Society

  • Composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue and his Secret Society ensemble make their Nonesuch Records debut with Dynamic Maximum Tension on September 8, 2023. The album pays homage to some of Argue’s key influences with original songs dedicated to R. Buckminster Fuller, Alan Turing, and Mae West. Fellow Nonesuch artist Cécile McLorin Salvant, with whom Argue collaborated on her long-form musical fable Ogresse, joins the ensemble for “Mae West: Advice.” Dynamic Maximum Tension’s eleven tracks, on two CDs, also include a response to Duke Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue,” titled “Tensile Curves,” among other original songs.

    The album track “Dymaxion”—a portmanteau of “dynamic maximum tension”—takes its name from the term coined by architect and inventor Fuller to describe his concept of using technology and resources to maximum advantage. “Dymaxion” is available today, June 29, along with this video from the song’s recording session.

    Argue says of his inspiration for the music: “It feels like our culture today is headed in a profoundly dystopian direction. By engaging with figures like Buckminster Fuller, Alan Turing, and Mae West, I was trying to connect to a more optimistic time, trying to reclaim a sense of agency, trying to rekindle my faith in our ability to grab the future and shape it ourselves.”

    Darcy James Argue, “one of the top big band composers of our time” (Stereophile), is best known for Secret Society, an eighteen-piece group “renowned in the jazz world” (New York Times). Argue brings an outwardly anachronistic ensemble into the 21st century through his “ability to combine his love of jazz’s past with more contemporary sonics” and is celebrated as “a syncretic creator who avoids obvious imitation” (Pitchfork).

    Acclaimed as an “innovative composer, arranger, and big band leader” by the New Yorker, Argue’s accolades include multiple Grammy nominations and a Latin Grammy Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and countless commissions and fellowships. His prescient 2016 Real Enemies, an album-length exploration of the politics of paranoia, was named one of the twenty best jazz albums of the decade by Stereogum. Like Real Enemies, Argue’s previous recordings—his debut Infernal Machines and his follow-up, Brooklyn Babylon—were nominated for both Grammy and Juno awards.

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