Next Stop - EP
Having collaborated as the London-based Portico Quartet for more than a decade, drummer Duncan Bellamy and saxophonist Jack Wyllie know how to maximize their time and effort. Their sessions for the 2021 album Monument were productive enough to have generated this compelling follow-up EP. Of the four contrasting songs, the title track is the most rhythmically intense, with long manipulated soprano sax sounds floating over Bellamy’s fast broken-beat patterns. On the opening “Captured Time,” Wyllie gets an almost trumpetlike tone from the soprano as string textures and rhythmic agitation swell around him. “Procession” begins in a piano-centered stillness, with breath elements and drones setting up a doleful, slowly pulsing elegy on tenor sax. “Youth,” also with Wyllie on tenor, has fat, sustaining synth-bass tones undergirding a reverberant and impassioned melody. Aesthetically, Next Stop is one with Monument, though it expands the scope of that previous achievement.