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
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.
Related artist(s): Reptet
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more