Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

10

Album Review

Portico Quartet: Terrain

Read "Terrain" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Much like the world of its creation—that of spring 2020, in the early phase of the Covid-19 shutdown—this Terrain is a landscape both familiar and strange. The ingredients of Portico Quartet's one-of-a-kind sound are recognizably there: the nebulous electronic soundscaping, the organic and gently compelling rhythms, the resonant tone of the hang drum which always feels beamed in from the beach of some distant planet. Like every album of theirs, though, it's a surprising step sideways from the previous one ...

10

Album Review

Portico Quartet: Memory Streams

Read "Memory Streams" reviewed by Geno Thackara


If it was possible to directly sublimate lucid dreams into sound, it isn't hard to imagine the results coming out somewhat like this. Music is made to simulate that kind of loose natural flow of thoughts often enough, but it's more rare for it to capture the experience as directly and vividly as Portico Quartet do on their sixth full-length. Memory Streams isn't just suggestive of memories flowing and shifting, it feels like a fleeting, mysterious, wash-through-your-mind dream in itself. ...

5

Year in Review

Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2017

Read "Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by Geno Thackara


My second year playing in the All About Jazz sandbox has been even more packed with great times and great musical discoveries than the first. I had the pleasure of reviewing plenty of terrific recordings just as strong or highly-rated as those on this list, not to mention some superb live shows, but these were the personal favorites that simply hit the spot the most. Portico QuartetArt in the Age of Automation Gondwana Records

8

Album Review

Portico Quartet: Art in the Age of Automation

Read "Art in the Age of Automation" reviewed by Geno Thackara


It's an inevitable rule that pretty much any piece of automated technology, especially digital technology, gets criticized for replacing something natural. The synthesizer invited a backlash when it was used (and yes, often misused) as a substitute for 'real' instruments--ditto the computerized tones and robotic timekeeping of MIDI and digital programming. Nonetheless, it's just as inevitable that after each seemingly soulless invention comes along, someone figures out how to use it in ways artistic and meaningful. Joe Zawinul made early ...

9

Live Review

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival 2013

Read "Guinness Cork Jazz Festival 2013" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Guinness Cork Jazz Festival Various Venues Cork Ireland October 25-28, 2013 Whether it was chance or fate is debatable but the fact is that had it not been for a cancelled bridge tournament the first Cork Jazz Festival might never have got off the ground. The 35th Guinness Cork Jazz Festival was officially launched in the Gresham Metropole Hotel, with a bit of the red carpet treatment for guests, sponsors and local dignitaries. It ...

132

Extended Analysis

Portico Quartet

Read "Portico Quartet" reviewed by John Kelman


Change is inevitable, but when a group loses one of its founders and biggest conceptual fundamentals, can it really survive the loss? When Britain's Portico Quartet announced the departure of co-founder Nick Mulvey, whose hang (a UFO-shaped instrument that sounds somewhere between steel pans and gamelan gongs) was one of its most defining characteristics, the group's future certainly seemed in peril. Hard enough to replace any instrumentalist who's been so much a part of a group's musical lexicon, but just ...

645

Live Review

Portico Quartet: Montreal, Canada, October 2, 2010

Read "Portico Quartet: Montreal, Canada, October 2, 2010" reviewed by John Kelman


Portico QuartetL'AstralMontreal, CanadaOctober 2, 2010 It's a tough slog for a European band to break into the North American market. High work visa costs, expensive travel between cities distanced by hundreds--if not thousands--of miles add logistical nightmares to the fact that the North American market is so flooded with new music that you've got to be special to have even a small hope of rising above it all to be heard. Fortunately, UK's Portico ...


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