Darcy James Argue

Music journalist, author and sound artist Michael Rüsenberg invites jazz greats to an interesting exchange at "Speak Like A Child." The title of the series goes back to the title track of the legendary Herbie Hancock album from 1968 and is a reference to the musical primary color of the Stadtgarten. Now the popular interview series is also available as a podcast, listen here on this website, Spotify and iTunes.

Darcy James Argue, born in Vancouver in 1975, is a jazz composer; with his multi-stylistic music he is considered one of the innovators of big band jazz.

Darcy first studied in Montreal, 1993-1998. In 2000 he went to Boston; like John Hollenbeck (later also a guest in Speak Like A Child) he became a student of the legendary composer and arranger Bob Brookmeyer at the New England Conservatory.

He has lived in Brooklyn since 2003, and in 2005 he founded Secret Society, an 18-piece big band. In 2011, he scores his first Grammy nomination for the album "Infernal Machines"; another follows in 2016, now for "Real Enemies."

Darcy's projects are multi-stylistic, sometimes multi-media. Musicologist Mario Dunkel calls his approach "omnivorous"; that's being kind to the summary observation that Darcy "brings together seemingly distant genres in highly unconventional ways."

The conversation with Darcy James Argue took place on October 12, 2018, before his third concert with the Cologne Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (after 2007 and 2010). The conversation was conducted in English.

1. „I never envisioned to be that big band guy“ - on Bob Brookmeyer (00:00)
„Hello, my name is Darcy. I am new in town. I have all of this really really hard big band music" - attracting musicans to rehearse without payment (00:00)
„The rhythms that I write are not the usual rhythms you would encounter in jazz“ - groove as the groundfloor (00:00)
„There are things that improvisers can do better than I can write“ - on jazz - composition (00:00)
„I am exploring what big band music might sound like, if it had stayed popular and incorporated the music that´s come along ever since“ - generating eclectic music (00:00)
„Jazz is not a style, it´s an attitude“ - the great gift of the black american community to the world (00:00)
„We didn´t deserve to win because Spain played better“ - working at the Stadtgarten during world cup 2010 (00:00)