Post-jazz, nu-jazz, jazz??? - what's in a name? Polar bear are, by far the most interesting musicians of any category that I have heard on a long time. Seb's energetic and innovative drumming inspires profound creative energy from his band. I recently saw them live in Galway and they are just as brilliant and professional on stage. What I initially thought was synthesised overdubbing turns out to be high-tech, live sampling of the musicians as they play, who may then respond to their own playbacks. It creates a wonderful texture which is almost never overcooked. I highly recommend Polar Bear to anyone who is interested in new music, jazz, drum and bass, or just plain, good music - they span the spectrum and push all the boundaries. From the catchy tunes, to soulful vocal collaborations, to Tom's hot bass riffs, which incorporate contemporary repetition coupled with a very fine jazz sensibility, this album will alternatively have you tapping your feet and then in wonderous rapture. You will not be disappointed! This self-titled album brings to a crescendo the ideas which were being explored in the previous two, and equally enjoyable, albums, Dim Lit and Held On The Tips Of Fingers. The new album is, apparently, due early in 2010. For Seb's alternative rock incarnation, check out Acoustic Ladyland.
Saw these guys play the Tunnels in Aberdeen couple of years ago and they blew me away. Been obsessed with them since and from there have discovered lots more about contemporary British Jazz. This Album is a must listen. A display of mad creativity that seems to just work on many levels. I strongly recommend you purchase all their music.
Apparently recorded in late 2006 but not released until now, Mercury-nominated Polar Bear's third album is also their longest, and sees them making increasing use of electronics to add texture to their music. Songs like Goodbye dissolve from the kind of tuneful, genre-hopping upbeat cool jazz we recognise as Polar Bear's signature sound into a cloud of low-key electronic droning before transforming seamlessly into the following track, while Voices is out-and-out ambient jazz, and good with it. All the while Polar Bear weave through bop, fusion, free and any other kind of jazz they fancy with scant regard for conservative classicism, proving themselves yet again to be about the best band in the world in any musical field. Awesome.
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Had this album for a while now and glad didn't review earlier because it gets better with time .It's a long album but is best listend to all at once.Not sure where some of the songs end and some begin ,they bleed into each other which give the album a dream quality. The bass is louder in the mix than on previous efforts giving it more of a dub feel. Won't give it a label but if you like Alice Coltrane later Boredoms stuff or any good head music buy this!
This latest album review is another interesting listen from the great guys from Polar Bear. Personally preferred the previous album "Held on the Tips of Fingers" but there are still enough enjoyable moments to this record. For the full experience though you really should try and get to see them live. I saw them at a small venue in Leicester and even entered a little oriental food based banter with Seb Rochford the drummer. Man it's a good thing he knows his beats better than he knows his dim sum!
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