I just got word from Derek Caterwaul that the Little Women show slated for Thursday, Jan. 31, won't be happening—the guitarist developed tendonitis while touring, and won't be driving in for the show. But I did a perfectly good interview with the experimental punky jazz quartet from Brooklyn, and thought I'd tell you about them anyway. Little Women balances tight, turn-on-a-dime changes with a rowdy, frantic energy, a kind of unpolished polish I'll call spit-shined. Take in the frenetic, bursty approach at myspace.com/
Travis Laplante, the band's tenor saxophone player, spoke to me from the tour van he'd been sharing with his mates for a little over a week.
Tell me a little about your backgrounds. Are you guys going to school for music?
Two of us, myself and the guitar player Ben [Greenberg] went to the jazz program at The New School. Darius [Jones] the alto saxophone player is getting his doctorate at NYU and Jason [Nazary] the drummer went to the New England Conservatory in Boston.
How did you guys meet up?
The band formed really organically. All of our friends through word-of-mouth were telling us about each other even though we hadn't played together before. It was almost like our friends just formed the band for us.
Where were your first shows?
Our first gigs were at dive bars, but since then we've played at every imaginable venue. We've played at swanky jazz clubs and warehouses and new music festivals. Anywhere you can think of.
Tell me about your writing process.
When we started playing together, our first few shows were 100 percent improvised. We formed with no concept of a band sound, we just got together in a room and played together. The first few times we played it was really incredible because the improvisations were abnormally focused and incredible. We knew we had something special going from the beginning.
We started trying to write pieces that were structures of our improvisations. What we're doing now, our first recording that's coming out on March 4, is the first record in a series of records that we're going to be releasing annually.
How's the tour going?
It's going very well. It's a lot of driving. The shows have all been well attended.
What's bringing you to Albuquerque?
It's a really long drive from Phoenix to Denver. None of us have hung out in Albuquerque. We're all intrigued.
You're just using numbers as titles for your songs. Why's that?
On MySpace they won't let you put one giant track. That was just a way for us to split up the piece into sub-pieces. On vinyl it's just one side and one continuous track. We have those reference track marks on the CD, but there are no pauses. We kept it like that because we recorded it all in one take from beginning to end with no edits or overdubs.
You list yourselves as just "jazz." Is that the most apt description for what you're doing?
No. That's a very difficult think to talk about for us. That's half a joke. People have called us everything from jazz to punk to noise to metal. All those things are a part of our influence for sure. We hope our music stomps all over those genres and is unique enough to not have labels.