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Portico Quartet, Portico Quartet (Real World) ****
PORTICO Quartet move on from being the sort of young jazz band that appeals to people who don’t like jazz (and gets up the noses of some aficionados) to new, more interesting territory.
They started out busking on London’s South Bank, and have travelled a long way, without jettisoning that loose initial excitement. What they do is a little hard to put a label to because not much sticks: electric improve with cinematic overtones and echoes of jazz?
Hardly snappy, it is true. Ethereal mood music which washes over you with hazy fluidity? Sounds bizarre, I’ll grant you. But Portico Quartet are all this and more on this enticing new album.
This almost entirely instrumental affair repays repeated playing: that way, the layers make sense. The two strongest tracks come early, with the floating magnificence of Ruins followed by the jazzier Spinner.