If you like modern jazz, the sort that Gilles Peterson would play on his excellent late night radio show, then 'Knee-deep in the North Sea', the 2007 debut album of London band the Portico Quartet, which has just been reissued with extra tracks, will probably be of appeal to you.

It has echoes of Courtney Pine with Jack Wyllie's precise saxophone work and pace, and it puts together many beautiful soundscapes that a jazz lover will become enthralled with from the first note. Portico Quartet are a seriously good band with razor sharp precision and delivery. There is incredible use by percussionist Nick Mulvey of an instrument called a Hang which can be describes as a fancy steel drum. I say fancy because of the way it is played - Fancy!

There is a very mild spattering of vocals just to give an undercurrent of humanity to the precise soundscapes. As you listen to the album in full, it draws you in a very pleasant, chilled out way. It is a rebirth of the cool as you soak up the beautiful crisp waves of sound flowing towards you – velvet over a titanium fist. This is a great jazz album that makes me think of smokey Parisian jazz clubs in which the coolest of the cool relax for the evening.

If you let life slide on by for a couple of hours whilst you recharge, then this is is an excellent record in which you can do that with.











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