304

Little Women: Throat

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Little Women: Throat Brooklyn-based quartet, Little Women, blasts out of the starting gate with its full length debut on the Aum Fidelity imprint, following up its 2008 EP. The best known of the group's constituent parts to jazz fans is alto saxophonist Darius Jones, whose Man'ish Boy (A Raw and Beautiful Thing), also on Aum Fidelity, was one of 2009's most widely acclaimed releases. But Little Women is such a team focused group that Jones' back catalogue is not a good signpost for what to expect.

The group's singular sound comes from a strong conception whereby ideas arising from group improvisation, and band members' compositions alike, are subject to joint reappraisal: all of which are sculpted into a continuous uncredited 41-minute suite. Consequently stark juxtaposition, embracing a range of genres, including free jazz, metal, folk, noise and prog, is one of Little Women's defining characteristics. Even when particular styles are utilized, the parameters are carefully controlled to fit with the overall intent. Individual expression is almost totally subsumed within the collective ethos, although guitarist Andrew Smiley is sometimes more prominent due to the ability of his axe to cut through the dense ensembles.

In a program which emphasises contrast, the uncompromising power chords and bombast of "Throat I" segue directly into a hall of mirrors of slow drifting saxophone harmonics on "Throat II." Sometimes the contrasts even come within the same piece, as with "Throat IV" where the two horns begin in folksy Americana hinting at bagpipes sonorities, sketching a soulful hymn like melody which wouldn't have sounded out of place on Jones' album, before tracing a trajectory from consonance to the dissonance of off-key twanging guitar accents and rumbling drums. Similarly on "Throat V" a nervy, episodic opening portends a process of evolution ending with a pretty musical box tune picked out on a single guitar string. Vocal grunts and sighs meld into repetitive patterns before switching up to more rapid cycling of wordless exclamations on "Throat VII": an eccentric conclusion which sidesteps the conventional idea of a climax and, like the rest of this intriguing disc, succeeds in keeping things off balance to the end.


Track Listing: Throat I; Throat II; Throat III; Throat IV; Throat V; Throat VI; Throat VII.

Personnel: Travis Laplante: tenor saxophone; Darius Jones: alto saxophone; Andrew Smiley: guitar; Jason Nazary: drums.

Title: Throat | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 8, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.