Since first putting this up, I’ve immersed myself in this album so I’ve junked some of what I wrote earlier, but as I said I came across this album on my one and only Internet ‘radio’ station, Rootdownfm.com and was blown away by it. The main influences on Argue’s music are to my ear Gil Evans and Charles Mingus, but just when you think you have his music pinned down, Argue comes up with something else! He calls his music steampunk big band. Like Gil Evans he knows how to score the band’s voices, playing them off against each other, building complex tonal patterns and then the music will move into the emotionally charged groove of a Mingus big band score. And this band swings (well it is a New York band). Great trombone work which is the dominant solo instrument (check out the solo on ‘Habeas Corpus’). Beautiful stuff. Five stars from Creative-i.
Track 4 ‘Redeye’ off Infernal Machines (2009), an 18-piece band from New York directed by composer Darcy James Argue.