So last night I went to see Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society band. Darcy is a fellow Canadian musician living and working in New York. Darcy is also a very articulate and intelligent writer of both music and music events (you should definitely check out his blog if you haven’t done so already.)
Anyways, last night was the first time I had a chance to check out Darcy’s music. The last time I heard Darcy’s music was in 1999 when we were both participating in the Jazz Workshop at the Banff Centre.
Darcy’s Secret Society is a large ensemble group whose instrumentation is like a big band. Now the reason why I didn’t say that Darcy’s group is a big band is because I feel like there is a real stigma to the “big band” and rightfully so. I am not really a huge fan of big band and I find that most compositions for big band are uninteresting and pretty cheesy. Darcy’s compositions were none of those things. I really enjoyed the fact that Darcy’s music had influences from his own lifetime. What does that mean? I was raised on rock and pop music. I actually didn’t get into jazz till after I graduated from high school. When listening to Darcy’s compositions I related to the sounds and textures of his music. I could hear elements of rock and pop music as well as modern classical music (i.e. Darcy’s composition “Habeas Corpus” had a Phillip Glass thing kinda going on). I understood it. It was fun, groovy and he had elements of surprise that I found really refreshing. Some compositions stuck with me more than others but overall I had a good time.
I feel a little extra fuzzy inside knowing that Darcy is Canadian (I know, silly…) and that he’s creating some cool music. I recommend that if you get a chance to hear Secret Society go, and have fun. I did.