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iTunes Review

Brooklynites will be the first to tell you that their fair borough is the center of the universe. But composer Darcy James Argue is one resident who feels more than a little ambivalent about it. Originally a collaboration between Argue and visual artist Danijel Zezelj that was mounted as multimedia performance piece, Brooklyn Babylon is a fable about the world’s tallest building, which is erected in Brooklyn, Tower of Babel–style. If nothing else, this is a pointed statement about what this borough once was (ethnically diverse and typically working class) and what it's becoming (the gentrified home of the Nets). The 18-piece Secret Society already took the jazz world by storm thanks to Argue’s imaginative compositions on 2009’s Infernal Machines, which drew on modern big-band jazz, minimalism, indie rock, and other genres. While there's no libretto, the music here sums up the lives of simple workaday folks (“Prologue”), the broad ambitions of civic leaders (“The Tallest Building in the World”), Brooklyn's teeming energy (“The Neighborhood”), and small moments of reflection (the seven interludes). A multifaceted work that realizes its lofty ambition.

Customer Reviews


A complex but satisfying listen. Highly recommended.

A big band for our time

Don't hesitate to check out Darcy James Argue's Brooklyn Babylon. And see he why he is one of the freshest and most engaging composers for the big band on the scene today.

Awesome Album!

I love these guys' music. They remind of Seatbelts from back in the day. I wish there was more of this out there. I have just a few minor criticisms. Most of the album is very dissonant and chaotic. It reminded me of Buddy Rich's "Diabolus." This is a cool sound, but I was wanting it to resolve more. Their music is very complex and sounds difficult, and there is a lot of crazy soloing. It's cool that they can do all that, but sometimes in Jazz you just got to lay back and groove with it. Overall, this is a great album. I'll be keeping up with these guys.

Brooklyn Babylon, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Apr 30, 2013

Customer Ratings