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Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Newport Jazz 2014

Darcy James Argue conducts the Secret Society in a new big-band piece at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival. (Adam Kissick for NPR)

At the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra gave a performance so raucous and powerful that historians mark it as a turning point of the great bandleader's five-decade career. At its center was a piece called "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue," with a barn-burning solo interlude from saxophonist Paul Gonsalves.

The composer and big-band leader Darcy James Argue is something of a Duke scholar, and by now a Newport Jazz Festival veteran. So he chose this date to present a 35-minute piece inspired by "Diminuendo" for the first time in the U.S. "Tensile Curves" joins a number of other previously unrecorded works that Secret Society presented at the main stage on Friday, Aug. 1.

Set List

  • "Ferromagnetic"
  • "All In (For Laurie Frink)"
  • "Codebreaker (For Alan Turing)"
  • "Tensile Curves"
  • "Last Waltz For Levon"

Personnel

Darcy James Argue, composer/arranger; Erica von Kleist, alto saxophone/winds; Rob Wilkerson, alto saxophone/winds; Sam Sadigursky, tenor saxophone/winds; John Ellis, tenor saxophone/winds; Carl Maraghi, baritone saxophone/winds; Seneca Black, trumpet; Tom Goehring, trumpet; Matt Holman, trumpet; Nadje Noordhuis, trumpet; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Marshall Gilkes, trombone; Ryan Keberle, trombone; Jacob Garchik, trombone; Jennifer Wharton, bass trombone; Miles Okazaki, guitar; Adam Birnbaum, piano; Matt Clohesy, bass; Jon Wikan, drums

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