el portal jazz
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
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.
Composed of members currently living in Miami, Kansas City, Chicago,
Philadelphia, and Foligno, El Portal is a big old Miami family
reunion. The members met in a boarded-up house during a violent hurricane in the fall of 2006.
The endurance of the storm cultivated a new bond--and eventually, a new band, enlivened by the urgency of the hurricane.
EL PORTAL plays original music reflective of their unique personalities and shared experiences.
from new trophy
PRESS PHOTOS -- click to enlarge
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
"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."