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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Polar Bear: Same As You

Read "Same As You" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Geography is rarely something that a writer considers when preparing a review. But Same as You sounds profoundly shaped by where it was mixed and mastered--in the Mojave Desert, by producer Ken Barrientos and Polar Bear drummer and bandleader Sebastian Rochford. “We spent a couple days at his studio then headed out to the desert for five days to mix it," Rochford recalls. Polar Bear's sixth release sounds wide open, dry and warm, quiet and loud, barren and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Polar Bear: Same As You

Read "Same As You" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Polar Bear's seventh album, Same As You appears barely 12 months after album number six, In Each And Every One (Leaf Label, 2014). It's far from being a “more of the same" follow-up though--this is a softer, more-at-peace Polar Bear sound than its predecessor, a mellower vibe. There are just six tracks on the album--all written or co-written by drummer and producer Sebastian Rochford. Rochford gives this album a warmer and more organic feel than In Each And ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Polar Bear: In Each And Every One

Read "In Each And Every One" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Polar Bear is back. Not just with a bang, but with a whole array of other sounds, including the occasional whimper. In Each And Every One brings together 11 tunes from the pen of drummer Sebastian Rochford--from the gently bucolic to the downright macabre. There's also an early front runner for the Best Song Title Of 2014 award. In Each And Every One is the British band's fifth album. It appears four years after Peepers (Leaf Label, 2010) ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Polar Bear with Jyager: Common Ground

Read "Common Ground" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Sebastian Rochford, drummer and writer with Polar Bear, is one of Britain's most extraordinary musicians. The softly-spoken Scot is also one of the most curious of musicians, constantly seeking new sounds and collaborations both inside and outside the jazz world. On the fascinating Common Ground, Rochford gets new sounds from old sounds--eight of the tunes are based on samples from Polar Bear's album Peepers (The Leaf Label, 2010)--and a new collaboration from the UK hip-hop community in the shape of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Polar Bear: Peepers

Read "Peepers" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Polar Bear, led by Scottish percussionist and composer Seb Rochford, has been a major creative force since its formation in 2003. The band has extended its popularity beyond the narrow borders of the jazz scene, has been a strong influence on the new wave of young British jazz musicians, and has journalists reaching enthusiastically for categories into which it can be neatly slotted. Readily defying attempts to be pigeonholed, Peepers--the band's fourth album--is a stunningly enjoyable collection by one of ...

INTERVIEW

Polar Bear: Raw and Spontaneous

Read "Polar Bear: Raw and Spontaneous" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

During the six or seven years since its formation, British quintet Polar Bear has garnered extensive praise from critics, fans and fellow musicians. Most famously, perhaps, the band was described by music critic Paul Morley as “dream jazz"--high praise, indeed. The band's second album, Held On The Tips Of Fingers (Babel, 2005), was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. The band has a great reputation as a live act, attracting audience members from the jazz world and beyond. On the ...

LIVE REVIEW

Polar Bear at Ronnie Scott's, London

Read "Polar Bear at Ronnie Scott's, London" reviewed by Frederick Bernas

Polar BearRonnie Scott'sLondon, EnglandApril 8, 2008

London's famous jazz club has been going through troubled times. In December 2007 its artistic director resigned amidst criticism that the venue's booking policy was veering away from the mainstream, hard jazz it is known for.

Considering such complaints, it was surprising to see Polar Bear in the listings. Led by drummer Sebastian Rochford, the group has recently established itself as a trailblazer on the UK's progressive jazz scene. Rochford is ...


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