In the ’50s and ’60s, the mystique of Charlie Parker’s druggy, free-wheeling disciples eclipsed the energy of the big bands, leaving the legacy of more disciplined jazz to the likes of Gil Evans and Toshiko Akiyoshi, who were always a bit more academic. Next-generation composer Darcy James Argue takes the long-dormant big-band style several steps further. His ensemble, Secret Society, blurs jazz motifs both classical and modernist: The result isn’t always funky, but it’s keen and innovative enough to have garnered blanket critical praise. They’re at (le) poisson rouge.
The Grates don’t have the inventive electro impulses of fellow Aussies Architecture in Helsinki, but Patience Hodgson’s “cheerleader enthusiasm” nearly makes up for it. They begin a weekly residency at Pianos.
A welcome foil to overly enthusiastic boy-girl indie duos, Grunge relic Jucifer does “PJ-Harvey-meets-the-Melvins” at the Cake Shop.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 15, 2009