Portico Quartet, Three Trapped Tigers, Gannets Tuesday 20 Nov - London Jazz Festival

It’ s not often that you get a chance to see three of the most exciting new bands in British jazz on one bill, so it came as no surprise last night when an exuberant audience packed into the sold out Vortex jazz club. Opening the night were the explorative free-jazz group Gannets. A definite emphasis on humour prevented their riotous sound from taking itself too seriously, a lot like the Art Ensemble of Chicago after a hefty shot of adrenaline.
Portico Quartet, Three Trapped Tigers, Gannets  Tuesday 20 Nov - London Jazz Festival
Their extended collective improvisations were high in energy but were also able to maintain focus through an intelligent use of dynamic shifts. By juxtaposing dense periods of free creativeness with subtler instrumental tinkering, the texture of the performance was both eclectic and refreshing.     

Attracting the majority of the audience, Portico Quartet has rapidly become one of the most talked about new bands this year with their delicately hypnotic sound.   The hype however is not undeserved and their debut album, Knee Deep in the North Sea, recently released on the new Vortex label, is proving a huge success amongst their ever-expanding army of youthful fans. The use of the hang instrument added a certain eastern spirituality to the band’s sound, but overall, classical influences merged with a modern European jazz sensibility to create something that was fresh and most definitely British. 

Eclecticism and innovation being the themes of the night; a group like Three Trapped Tigers certainly looked at home on stage.  Attempting to take jazz into the digital age, the trio utilised laptop technology and electronics to forge a synergy between the organic and the synthetic.  Standout drummer of the night, Adam Betts, used digital delays and reverb to enhance his incredible rhythmical drive at the kit.  Sadly however, an overall sense that there were too many buttons to push and simply not enough fingers to press them with made the band look a little unorganised.

Chris Ackerley

The Write Stuff

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Making The Cut Mpu 300x500px

Subcribe To Jazzwise


Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

@PranaCrafter @moonduo @LeGuessWho amazing - well done fella
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Jazz Cafe sax summit kicks off second London Saxophone Festival https://t.co/CHZOsNoXLq https://t.co/C2TIc46SgF
Follow Us - @Jazzwise


© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA