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DJA
Brooklyn
Composer - Conductor - Ringleader
Recent Activity
Please visit our new home: secretsocietymusic.org Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2013 at Secret Society
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AVAILABLE NOW iTunes Amazon BandCamp SHOWS April 20, 2013 — BAMcafé Live, Brooklyn (FREE) May 3, 2013 — Regattabar, Cambridge MA (tickets) May 18, 2013 — Atlas Arts Center, Washington DC (tickets) FREE PUBLIC WORKSHOP May 2, 2013 — New... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2013 at Secret Society
Hi Tim, You are right that I was imprecise -- I should have said written something more like "which is famously (but incorrectly) thought to modulate through 12 keys during the first [A] section." I'll revise the post accordingly. But regarding your analysis of "The Duke," you seem to be using the Real Book changes, which are not entirely accurate. You're also wrong about there being no chords on G -- as Red mentions, there's a composed bass line (parts of which are doubled by Dave's left hand) that's an integral part of this tune, and it lands on G on the downbeat of the second bar (Em/G), and also on beat 2 of the eighth bar (G7). Anyway the point here was that the commissioned piece I wrote has chords on all 12 chromatic tones in its first phrase, same as "The Duke."
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2013 on Walking through unfamiliar streets at Secret Society
Hey Russ! The fact that Levon could play so well while simultaneously singing gut-wrenchingly powerful lead vocals only adds to his mystique. It's hard enough to keep up four-limb independence behind the kit, but Levon would also often sing in a different subdivision from what he was playing, and with different placement (i.e., singing straight 8ths while shuffling on the drums, or vice versa).
Toggle Commented Jan 12, 2013 on Walking through unfamiliar streets at Secret Society
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It tastes like Pine-Sol, but pleasantly so. I'm off to Copenhagen to spend a week working with the celebrated Danish Radio Big Band. Long one of the preeminent European radio bigbands, this is the ensemble of which Thad Jones assumed... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2013 at Secret Society
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" Identifying those people likely to do this is challenging" It's not "challenging" -- there's zero evidence this is even possible, let alone effective. I'm all for commonsense regulations that restrict gun sales to known high-risk individuals, but we will probably never come up with a reliable method to identify the Lanzas and Laughners before they snap. I mean, if people want to administer the psychopath test as a prerequisite for gun purchasers, that's all well and good. But the only thing that has ever actually proven to be effective in preventing gun violence is restricting the supply of firearms, controlling which types of weapons are available, and limiting magazine capacity. We know these laws work, they explain the relative gun violence per firearm rates in Canada vs. the US.
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2012 on Some Thoughts On Gun Control at Parabasis
A thousand apologies! I (evidently) missed the all-important "jr." You are, I take it, the Seattle music journalist? I grew up just across the border, in Vancouver. Hope things are good on the Wet Coast.
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2012 on Disco Inferno at Secret Society
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SECRET SOCIETY @ THE JAZZ GALLERY 290 Hudson St., New York NY Sets at 9:00 PM & 10:30 PM (both nights) Photo: Lindsay Beyerstein The Jazz Gallery is one of the greatest places to hear music in the entire world.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2012 at Secret Society
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Vintage synths, wrecked by Sandy New Amsterdam Records, home to Secret Society, our co-conspirator Sam Sadigursky, and many, many friends and kindred spirits on the New York music scene, has suffered a devastating loss. Their new headquarters, located at 98... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2012 at Secret Society
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Photo by Erin Patrice O’Brien This Friday night (Oct. 19) at Symphony Space, we're trying something new. I've handed the keys to my music over to a designated driver: Pedro Giraudo. One the most distressingly common questions I get asked... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2012 at Secret Society
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"The Rite of Spring" by Jennifer Renshaw Hey, do you remember when you first heard The Rite of Spring (which, incidentally, turns 100 next year)? If you're like me, you first connected with the work as a teenager. (I did... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2012 at Secret Society
Hi Larry, WOW... thank you so much for stopping by commenting! Your music has been a great inspiration to me and it was a great experience for us to perform it live. Also, much respect for the Road House reference.
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2012 on Disco Inferno at Secret Society
Tom, if you'd taken the time to listen to the multitrack breakdown of "Think Twice" in the video I referenced above, it would be clear that there is a ton of spontaneous interaction going on within the rhythm section. These players are masters at their peak — it's not hard to hear if you'd care to open your ears a little.
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2012 on Disco Inferno at Secret Society
I respect that people are willing to cop to liking "Disco Monk." Trombonist Dave "Smoota" Smith contributed the following, via Facebook, which is too good not to share: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIqwF2oWcQ4
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2012 on Disco Inferno at Secret Society
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Was disco the last musical genre that absolutely everyone had to get in on? It wasn't just the likes of Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones and Wings-era Paul McCartney and the Grateful Dead and Kiss… a surprising number of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2012 at Secret Society
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Photo: Erik Jacobs for NPR Audio from Secret Society's set at the Newport Jazz Festival is streamable and downloadable here, courtesy NPR. There are also sets from many of the other amazing groups that played the festival, including Dafnis Prieto,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2012 at Secret Society
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Secret Society returns to the Newport Jazz Festival tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 4) — we play the Fort Stage at 2:20 PM. Looking forward to seeing you there! I'll be available after the show to sign CDs and/or general chitchat, or... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2012 at Secret Society
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2012 DownBeat Critics' Poll — Rising Star: Big Band Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2012 at Secret Society
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Photo: Scott MacLeod And now, as we prepare to go into the studio tomorrow morning, we are pleased to bring you the exciting conclusion our daily profiles of the musicians involved in the making of the Brooklyn Babylon recording. Your... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2012 at Secret Society
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Photo: Lindsay Beyerstein We continue our daily profiles of the musicians involved in the making of the Brooklyn Babylon recording with a look at bass trombonist and tubaist Jennifer Wharton. Jen has performed and recorded with many top-flight jazz ensembles... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2012 at Secret Society
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Photo: Justin Ray We continue our daily profiles of the musicians involved in the making of the Brooklyn Babylon recording with a look at saxophonist, flutist, and clarinetist Rob Wilkerson (@wilkersonmusic on Twitter). Rob balances his time between touring the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2012 at Secret Society
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Photo: Jin Zhao We continue our daily profiles of the musicians involved in the making of the Brooklyn Babylon recording with a look at guitarist Sebastian Noelle. Seb has been active in New York City since 2002. As a leader,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2012 at Secret Society
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Photo: Jon Wikan We continue our daily profiles of the musicians involved in the making of the Brooklyn Babylon recording with a look at lead trumpeter Seneca Black. Seneca grew up in the unicorportated community of Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. As... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2012 at Secret Society
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Photo: Joanne Levey We continue our daily profiles of the musicians involved in the making of the Brooklyn Babylon recording with a look at saxophonist and flutist Erica von Kleist. Erica has made her mark as one of the most... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2012 at Secret Society
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We continue our daily profiles of the musicians involved in the making of the Brooklyn Babylon recording with a look at bassist Matt Clohesy. Matt left his hometown of Melbourne to come to New York in 2001. He's since gained... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2012 at Secret Society