When the subject of avant-garde jazz scenes comes up in a conversation, the place that is often discussed the most -- at least among New Yorkers -- is downtown Manhattan (as in the East Village, Soho, and Tribeca). But avant-jazz activity certainly isn't limited to the Big Apple; not at all. There is plenty of it in Boston, Chicago, and many places in different parts of Europe, and Seattle is the city that, in 1999, saw the formation of Reptet. Do This!, the six-member group's second album, is not radically avant-garde, It is mildly avant-garde, and by avant-garde jazz standards, the material is relatively accessible. But at the same time, no one will mistake Do This! for a group of hard bop-oriented, standards-obsessed Young Lions who only play in the tradition. Do This! has it share of abstraction, quirkiness, and eccentricity, and while the material has been influenced by straight-ahead bop and swing, it is by no means enslaved by the tradition. The album favors an inside/outside approach -- generally more inside than outside -- and the group's long list of influences ranges from Charles Mingus to Gil Evans to Thelonious Monk to Ornette Coleman. The solos of trumpeter Samantha Boshnack, trombonist Ben OShea, and saxophonists Tobi Stone and Izaak Mills can be very free-spirited and stream-of-consciousness, but Do This! never becomes chaotic, and one of the album's strong points (in addition to the improvising and composing) is Reptet's cohesive ensemble arrangements. Listeners who have enjoyed the ensemble work of Boston's Either/Orchestra and other inside/outside outfits of the '90s and 2000s should have no problem getting into this early 2006 recording.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson