Brooklyn quartet Little Women creates music whose aim is transcendence via brutally precise sonic assault and ascendant melodies, attacking written and improvised material with equal ferocity. The group’s sound distilled from a broad range of influences that stretch from free jazz through math metal, punk rock, pop music, and harsh noise. Saxophonists Travis Laplante and Darius Jones breathe together as one multi-tongued exquisite beast reveling in higher harmonics, splitting overtones to create ghost notes. Together with guitarist Andrew Smiley and drummer Jason Nazary, they create intricate yet whiplash-bestowing riffs which morph on a dime into exploratory sub-groupings. There are also moments of quiet ringing-tone reflection on what has been wrought.
Throat is a suite in seven sections fully designed to be listened to as a whole. It is their “full-length” debut following their 2008 EP, Teeth, on the Sockets/Gilgongo labels. Throat was recorded and mixed by Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording and features cover art by renowned underground guitar maestro Mick Barr (of Orthrelm & Ocrilim).
Darius Jones, who plays alto sax in the group, released his debut, Man’ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) on AUM Fidelity in October 2009. It received a great deal of luminous acclaim, appearing high in Jazz Year-End Best of lists (many as #1 Debut of the Year). Within Little Women a wholly different aspect of his musical personality is revealed, to say the least.
Travis Laplante – Tenor Saxophone
Darius Jones – Alto Saxophone
Andrew Smiley – Electric guitar
Jason Nazary – Drums
Members of Little Women have recorded and/or performed with some of the top names in jazz/improvised music such as: Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Mark Dresser, Jim Black, Trevor Dunn, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Chad Hugo (The Neptunes), Gerry Hemingway, Joe Morris, Matt Wilson, Michael Formanek, Mat Maneri.
Selected Reviews of “Throat”:
“The true test of the Little Women’s originality is that, aside from some very general comparisons with ecstatic free-jazz saxophone stylists such as Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and late-period Coltrane – and some occasional trance-like riffs which could be loosely associated with the Philip Glass school of minimalism – the music is quite free of any overt influences. Not for the faint-hearted, but not to be missed.” – BBC Music
“—a speed-metal barrage of saxophones and uplifting climaxes reminding me of a modern-day Glenn Branca. Simplistic by design, yet horrifically complex by execution, Little Women’s combination of free jazz with the Brooklyn-inspired speed of Mick Barr and the brutal intensity of Coughs puts more feeling and saturation into every track than most bands’ entire discography. Additionally, the wall of sound is immediately palatable to the ears, leaving the mass in between confused and scared to death.” – Slug Magazine
“Little Women spans the divide between the primitive and the sophisticated in a manner that’s true of so few. For this, its second release, it’s useful to offer pointers such as Albert Ayler and Peter Brotzmann (whose “Machine Gun” is particularly pertinent in terms of sonic assault), but they serve merely to place what this quartet does. This is, in short, statically visceral music with an agenda of its own.” – All About Jazz