Seb Rochford [drums]
Pete Wareham [tenor sax]
Mark Lockheart [tenor sax]
Tom Herbert [double bass]
Julia Biel [guest vocals]
A polar bear is deceptive: a soft and cuddly exterior conceals a more menacing and potentially dangerous reality. Thus it is with Seb Rochford's Polar Bear, which offers a vital cutting edge alternative to the current easy listening Parkinson-endorsed public image of jazz.
With the youthful immediacy of the alt rock and beats culture, jazz groups such as Medeski Martin and Wood, Bad Plus, Jaga Jazzist, Cinematic Orchestra, and Radiohead's dark, extended organic workouts are among the popular cultural contexts in which real jazz is working its magic right now. Polar Bear are part of this new breed of improvisers using a lethal dose of raw hypnotic grooves, excitingly urgent far-out spontaneity and total song-like melody. This wide view comes together with the much awaited release of their debut 'Dim Lit' on Babel. On the album, the two saxes-bass-drums quartet, Polar Bear, explore the dark but cuddly regions of improvised music for the new century.
"…the changing patterns of Rochford's understated percussion, Tom Herbert's dark bass presence and the slow dance of the two horns give Polar Bear an increasingly special character. A group with a significant future...." (John Fordham, The Guardian)
"Seb Rochford may just be the coolest looking drummer in jazz right now, and judging from his astounding solo, he may also be a genius" (James Griffiths, The Guardian)
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