el portal jazz

Slow Grind on CAM JAZZ records Spring 2014
Available March 13th 2014 | click here to purchase


March 2014 ITALY

  • March 15 - Foligno - Officina 34
  • March 16- Sant'Eraclio' - Castello
  • March 17 - Pisa - Sottobosco
  • March 18 - Ferrara - Il Torrione
  • March 29 - Napoli - Cellar Theory
  • March 21 - Avellino - Black House Blues
  • March 22 - Rome - Casa Del Jazz

    Composed of members currently living in Miami, New York City, Chicago, and Foligno, El Portal is a Miami collective. The members met in a boarded-up house during the violent hurricane, Katrina, in the fall of 2006. The endurance of the storm cultivated a new bond and eventually a new band enlivened by the intensity of the hurricane. EL PORTAL is influenced by a diverse set of genres including free jazz, rock, 20th century composition, minimalism, punk, and contemporary improvisation. Their music is exploratory, fluid and hypnotic, situated between improvisation and notation through divergent practices of fixed forms. It is in part, influenced by the strange, tropical landscape that is Miami and the small enclave of 'El Portal' situated at 25°51′18.62″N 80°11′39.01″W. As a result, their sound is tempered by the various members of the band, a sound emerging from the same gale force winds that injected the devastating storm that spawned its inception.
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    ABOUT italian

    El Portal nasce a Miami nel autunno del 2006 in una casa con le finestre blindate, dove i componenti si sono recati per cercare di mettersi al riparo da un violentissimo uragano. La necessita’ di far forze di fronte alla potenza della natura ha gettato le basi di un gruppo musicale di notevoli doti, in cui le svariate esperienze dei componenti detta le tappe di un percorso musicale sempre in evoluzione. Col tempo, i membri del gruppo si sono dispersi, spostandosi in altri citta’ come Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City e Foligno, ma in occasione del YOUNG JAZZ FESTIVAL 11 e con un’importante incisione in vista, si sono riuniti per dar vita a nuove musiche che presentano a Foligno per la prima volta. El Portal si trova a 25.855N, -80.193W.
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  • Nolan Lem (ts) www.nolanlem.com
  • Rainer Davies (gtr) www.rainer305.com
  • Paul Bedal (rhodes)www.paulbedal.com
  • Joe Rehmer (bs) www.joerehmer.com
  • Dion Keith Kerr IV (dr) www.dionkerr.com

    kernel live in Brescia, IT

    el portal brescia from Nolan Lem on Vimeo.

    vortex-tryptych-new trophy live in Livorno, IT

    el portal: "vortex" "tryptych" "new trophy" in Livorno, Italy March 2012 from nolan lem on Vimeo.

    TAZEROPOLIS live at FLAT in Mestre, IT June 2011

    tazeropolis from nolan lem on Vimeo.

    PRESS PHOTOS -- click to enlarge
    +39 329 474 4746

    DOWNBEAT - September 2012 Issue
    There are a couple of conceptual entry points when first listening to El Portal’s New Trophy. The first is the group’s origins back in the autumn of 2006, when all five members (who hail from the Midwest and East Coast) were sequestered in a Floridian house during a hurricane and conceived a new band. The second is its atypical instrumentation — tenor saxophone, electric guitar, Fender Rhodes, bass and drums. ”Vortex”, the first of an entire album’s worth of original compositions by saxophonist Nolan Lem, offers tight yet mesmerizing melodic lines. The playing initially sounds disciplined and unified enough to be through-composed, though Lem’s explorative soloing further in carries an improvised sound and spirit. A sharp guitar and drum attack commences “Crunch l”, which has a teasing syncopated approach before morphing into a straightahead burner. Conversely, “Crunch ll” stretches out over a more deliberately explorative tempo. The lovely “Portrait Of Paul” unfolds in a dignified manner, with Lem’s saxophone and Joe Rehmer’s bass coming across as particularly expressive. And there’s a fun, almost mischievous communal attack on closing track “Tazeropolis” as guitarist Rainer Davis and keyboardist Paul Bedal subtly jockey for advantage like competitive but loving brothers.
    Yoshi Kato - 1/9/2012

    liner notes
    "It was in the autumn of 2006 when the five musicians found themselves hiding out in the same house for days from the violent Hurricane Katrina. They made a pact that, if all of them escaped unharmed, they would found a jazz band together. Not exactly typical. Although the end of their studies has spread them far and wide apart (Miami, Kansas City, Chicago and Foligno [Italy], where Joe Rehmer has taken up residence), they work hard to meet on Wednesday afternoons at the Lions Club. Their strong bond can be easily heard on this record. Their varied listening habits and performing experience are reflected in the currency of the music. Here and there we find hypnotic bass lines and rock riffs; but there's also a nod to Mingus and an affinity for drastic changes of tempo and mood which remind attentive listeners of John Zorn. But these similarities are incorporated into a musical whole which stands on its own strength, characterized by a search for unexplored sonic territory. These young musicians are covering ground, making strong original music with a conviction that belies their age."
    (F. Scoppio)