Little Women's Big Noise
Published Apr 23, 2010Little Women don't play fusion; they make jazz and rock scream at each other. "We have a rock and jazz aesthetic," saxophonist Darius Jones says, "but it's not one or the other. We want to combine ideas and technique and use them in ways that aren't always comfortable for the listener." That's an understatement ― the quartet's noise is all-consuming. Members are all highly trained in jazz, but this band subvert their collective education. On their debut CD, Throat, two saxophones work in harsh unison and polyrhythm, creating split tones and guitar-like wails. They weave in and out of feverish guitar work and energetic but non-linear drums. The collision infects the wandering but communicative spirit of the best free jazz with metal's sonic range.
Hailing from Brooklyn, they've ended up playing with more noise bands than jazz festivals, where audiences can get a little skittish. "When we show up and do the show ― I'm not going to lie ― sometimes people get turned off because it's too aggressive," says Jones. "We do not filter, we don't pull back at all, like 'here's the jazz version of Little Women.' There is no jazz version. We don't do encores; we just go in and blast your brain out." Ultimately, Little Women aim beyond noise towards sonic catharsis on many levels. "We're not afraid to make the saxophones be ugly," says Jones, "but we're also not afraid to make it sweet, cause those two things go together. And we're not afraid to make people dance."