Exposé Online banner

Reptet — Chicken or Beef?
(Monktail MCMC8, 2008, CD)

Reptet — At the Cabin
(Artists Recording Collective ARC-2253, 2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-05-15

Chicken or Beef? Cover artAt the Cabin Cover art

Reptet fits squarely into that stream of jazz bands that contains the Lounge Lizards, Microscopic Septet, the Tiptons, and so on: crazy arrangements, skilled playing, influences drawn from both within jazz and outside, and a penchant for humor. In this case, the front line of horns features leader Samantha Boshnack on trumpet, two multi-instrumental woodwinds (saxes, clarinets, flutes) in Izaak Mills and Chris Credit; Nelson Bell on trombone, tuba, and so on; plus a rhythm section of John Ewing on drums and percussion, and Tim Carey on basses. Various guests add other intstruments from time to time. Boshnack is the main composer, though Credit, Carey, and Mills also contribute tunes. The world is full of competant players, so saying the band members are all really good at what they do is probably not enough to set Reptet apart. But combine that with charts of this caliber and you've got something special that should appeal to tastes ranging from fairly old-school jazz to rock and experimental music. While remaining more or less faithful to many of the standard sounds of jazz, expectations and traditions are defied at every turn. The typical flow of a tune (head, solos, repeat head) is completely tossed out — these arrangements are more akin to the exploratory big band music of Gil Evans, Hank Levy's work with Stan Kenton's band, and Toshiko Akiyoshi, though scaled down to a smaller ensemble. There's also a bit of the spirit of entertainment that's heard on some early New Orleans recordings, where the players chant catch-phrases to punctuate the tunes. The title track of Chicken or Beef is one of those. The horn parts are put together in very sophisticated ways, sometimes blocked in extended chords, sometimes breaking up into polyphony. And the solos are all great — each one of these players has interesting things to say. If you liked Fast 'n' Bulbous or Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, you're likely to enjoy this as well. The sense of fun is infectious, and surprises are around every corner.


Filed under: New releases, 2008 releases, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Reptet

More info
http://reptet.bandcamp.com/album/at-the-cabin
http://reptet.bandcamp.com/album/chicken-or-beef

Latest news

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Release Music Orchestra - Bremen 1978 – Judging by the number of excellent recent releases, Radio Bremen must have been quite a treasure for European music lovers back in the 70s. This CD is a prime example. I’m not familiar with the band...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues