Portico Quartet: Various

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Portico Quartet
LABELS: Real World
WORKS: Various
PERFORMER: Jack Wyllie (sax), Milo Fitzpatrick (double bass), Nick Mulvey (hang), Duncan Bellamy (drums and hang)


The Portico Quartet’s ethereal debut took everyone by surprise in the jazz world and beyond, and propelled them to last year’s Mercury Awards.

While the debut’s success was from tracks that had been audience tested – by busking across Europe and initially being sold as a homemade CD – this second album is a completely studio affair.

Fortunately the band’s unique sound flourishes from the recording sessions at Abbey Road for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. Mulvey’s gamelan-sounding hang provides the haunting pulse, as the tracks build to their exhilarating climaxes: with Fitzpatrick’s metronomic bass, Wyllie’s spiralling sax and Bellamy’s driving beats.


The band chanced upon the hang at WOMAD a few years ago and this year, returned as a headliner. Portico yet again proving they can push musical frontiers, while keeping mass appeal. Neil McKim