AUM Fidelity : 2010
Travis Laplante, tenor sax; Darius Jones, alto sax; Andrew Smiley, guitar; Jason Nazary, drums.
We are insanely happy to be able to bring you this exclusive preview track from the upcoming full-length debut from Little Women. Due next month from AUM Fidelity, this disc grabbed us immediately by the neck and has yet to let go. Our suggestion — in full consumerist mode — is to grab your copies now, direct from AUM Fidelity, well before the official release date. You need this kind of beauty and brawn in your life.
The album’s opening tune is throbbing with raw energy, and gives some idea of the overall sonic palette. But note that this is just the first of a seven part suite, best ingested complete in one sitting. Note too that there are also less pummeling, more contemplative portions of the full story arc, which occasionally find expression in straight-up lovely passages.
We are further thrilled to provide some elucidation from the band themselves on their working methods and approach:
‘Little Women as human heart’ (version)
Little Women is as the human heart. It works on the principles of mechanics and electricity. There are four valves, which is the mechanical side. The electrical side is what makes the heart beat. With Little Women you have four individuals; four distinct sounds; four distinct personalities; four distinct perspectives coming together in harmony to make the blood flow. The electricity comes from, not coal, not hydro, not nuclear, not wind, but these four individuals meshing their spirits/valves together in the moment to create an ultimate beating heart.
Each player in Little Women sacrifices their own unique musical approach to the greater collective sound, making the creation of “one sound together” the priority. A particular example of this sacrifice is how the two saxophonists openly share their musical secrets with each other. They teach each other their individual and special extended techniques without fear of losing individual identity; in a sense, signing “we are one sound” in blood.
When Little Women formed, an organic process was deemed and followed. The music has been allowed to develop over time and not be overly influenced by any one member. We started by improvising together and then taking ideas from the improvisations to form what we now consider to be our unique suite concept. We wanted the music to have a collective presence to it, so it was/is important that everyone in the band write music. Every member’s tunes are subject to band critique and approval. If you were to listen to each of us individually, you could hear the essence of Little Women, but you wouldn’t be able to hear the full idea of what we do. Little Women was formed to put the heart back into the music that we love.
Just like the Be-boppers, Little Women is creating a language of its own. We have all been to music school and have been influenced by many different types of music. But when we came together, we actualized the idea of starting from zero. Now that we have built a sonic foundation for ourselves, the aim is to look at the world that we’ve created from many different angles and to reinvent. Throat is the third suite in the lifespan of this band. It came about through hours of playing and curiosities about the sounds that different techniques on each instrument could create. In this suite, one of the techniques that the saxophonists wanted to investigate was the use of multiphonics and how they would sound being played simultaneously. Another technique was the use of guitar harmonics and how those could be incorporated compositionally. It is important for us to utilize extended techniques not only compositionally, but also within improvisation. Even though the music is very structured compositionally, it is vital for us to maintain an organically open state with each note, technique and sound of the suite. We don’t just want to play the music, we need to experience it as it is being played. The experience is vital to us, just as the heartbeat is vital to the living human body.
Our thanks to Little Women and AUM Fidelity for making this happen. See the AUM site for dates and venues for the band’s tour of the Northeast and Midwest U.S. + Canada in early April, followed by a European tour in May.
LATER: There is a rather tremendous video + text page devoted to Little Women here, courtesy of (((unartig))), and brought to our attention via improvised Communications. If you are not fully sold, check it out & be converted.
LATER STILL (16 Mar): Comment process was all cocked up yesterday (Monday). If you tried and met with a boondoggle, please try again! Thank you.