The history of Portico Quartet is brief, but it's also eventful. Since forming in 2005, this young British band have seen their first album, Knee Deep In The North Sea (Babel, 2007), become a Mercury Music Award Album of the Year, they've gathered rave reviews for their second album, Isla (Real World, 2009), and they've introduced a brand new acoustic instrument into the jazz repertoire. Although much of their music is recognizably jazz," their use of the Hang creates a distinctive, instantly recognizable, sound that lies outside the expected sonic boundaries of contemporary jazz. The quartet's formation, development, working methods and even living arrangements are more akin to those of a rock band than a jazz ensemble. They are, in short, one of the most original and intriguing groups to emerge on the British scene for some time.
AAJ Contributor Bruce Lindsay spoke with the members of this innovative, award-winning young group, where they reveal how humble beginnings led to where they are today, a much-lauded group currently on tour with opening act, 2009 Mercury Award-nominee, Sweet Billy Pilgrim.
Check out Portico Quartet: Not Particularly a Jazz Band at AAJ today!