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Real World Records
Before you surrender to your own opinion about jazz you really should listen to these bunch of boys from East…
Before you surrender to your own opinion about jazz you really should listen to these bunch of boys from East London, Portico Quartet.
Jack Wyllie, Milo Fitzpatrick, Duncan Bellamy (who also designed the artwork) and Nick Mulvey who make up this cool 4-piece contemporary instrumental jazz group have been the main instigators in spear heading a new generational appreciation for cinematic and percussion lead music, riding point on a resurgence wave making jazz reference cool but more importantly current again.
Yeah they may have been nominated for a Mercury Music Prize for their debut Knee-Deep In The North Sea, a brilliant release in most circles, but it’s this their second album Isla released on Real World Records that has us shouting from the roof tops.
Recorded mostly at Abbey Road studios, Isla pushes the boundaries of contemporary jazz much further from the safe confines of their first nostalgic-salute-to-the-oldskool album. Here they show a group comfortable in exploration. Crafting a unique sound centered around a spacey and dreamy, strange looking instrument called the hang drum, they clash modern made climaxes with classic rebellious attitude.
What’s extra special is the fact their music isn’t too abstract either, you don’t have to over think yourself into an intellectualised coma. Perhaps another reason why they’ve won so many more new fans to the genre. That’s not to say their music isn’t intelligent. Elastic deep bass, a ghostly sax and trickling electronics with rhythmic drums play their part in supporting that.
‘Paper Scissor Stone’ demonstrates the huge saxophone builds that are plentiful throughout, and the magnificent awakening ‘Line’, perfectly illustrating the dominant hang drum, perpetuates a feeling of total calmness.
‘Clipper’s’ breakout frenzy mid-tune like a short sporadic tropical storm is very dope, while ‘Life Mast’s harrowing scratching double bass and swaying sax is soon calmed by xylophone simplicity. Beautiful.
Trust us, if you’re looking for a place to start on contemporary jazz, then this is it!