Isla - Portico Quartet
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Richer and more rewarding than their Mercury-nominated breakthrough, Isla still has jazz running through it's veins, based as it is largely around sax and double bass, but the London band have broader ambitions. [Nov 2009, p.111]
  2. 80
    Isla feeds on Steve Reich mathematics, Radiohead dread, African desert grooves and ECM northern melancholy to travel into a new, chiming cavernous sound-world that is both exotic and hypnotic. [Nov 2009, p.100]
  3. The four-piece have made a follow up that makes their beginnings busking on the South Bank seem like a myth propagated by publicists. Receiving a nod of approval for their pigeonhole-defying venture really has emboldened them.
  4. Blending an almost futuristically elegant sense of atmosphere with flashes of raw, flesh-and-blood expression, Portico Quartet isn't the first to carve out such a pan-global sonic world, but it's created one that's welcoming to visit.
  5. Isla is nothing revolutionary. That's not to say that its originality is completely lost, but perhaps a touch more adventure and earnest into the mix would change the Portico Quartet's breeze into something much more powerful.
  6. Isla boldly showcases an unconventional combination of instruments and melodic ideas, a revolutionary musical terrain that Portico Quartet will hopefully continue to explore.
  7. It might be a long time before jazzers get a truly surprising improvisational blast off a Portico album, but Wyllie plays to his strengths when he deploys texture and tonal variation over rather uneventfully free-jazzy phrasing.

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