Polar Bear (British band)
Polar Bear at Taylor John's House, Coventry, England, 2007
|Years active||2004 - present|
|Labels||The Leaf Label, Babel Label, Tin Angel|
|Associated acts||F-IRE Collective
Melt Yourself Down
Sons of Kemet
Polar Bear is a British experimental jazz band led by drummer Seb Rochford with Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart on tenor saxophone, Tom Herbert on double bass and Leafcutter John on electronics and occasionally guitar or mandolin.
Polar Bear were nominated for the 'Best band' award at the BBC Jazz Award 2004, while Rochford was nominated for the 'Rising Star' award. Their first album Dim Lit was released in the same year and was a small scale success.
Their second record, Held On The Tips Of Fingers merged elements of cool jazz, funk, dance music, free jazz, electronica and drum and bass and was, by comparison, a massive crossover hit, earning Polar Bear a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize in 2005. The success was all the more unusual for an almost purely instrumental album. The album was nominated for a BBC Jazz Award 2006. It was selected as one of "The 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World" by Jazzwise magazine. and featured in The Guardian's list of "1000 Albums To Hear Before You Die". They have been involved with F-IRE Collective.
In 2010, the band released Peepers and mini-album Common Ground, a collaboration with Portuguese-born, London-based rapper Jyager, on The Leaf Label. Their 2014 album In Each And Every One was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and in the same year they released the single "Cuckoo" in collaboration with singer and songwriter Jin Jin. In March 2015 Polar Bear released their sixth album Same as You, including the single "Don't Let The Feeling Go". This track features frequent collaborator Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet) on tenor saxophone and Rochford and Hannah Darling on vocals.
- Dim Lit, Babel Label, (2004)
- Held On The Tips Of Fingers, Babel Label, (2005)
- Polar Bear, Tin Angel (2008)
- Peepers, The Leaf Label (2010)
- In Each And Every One, The Leaf Label (2014)
- Same as You, The Leaf Label (2015)
- Sherwin, Adam (10 July 2004). "BBC awards snub the champions of popular jazz". Times, The (London). Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- "Antony and Johnsons win Mercury". BBC News. 7 September 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- "The 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World". Jazzwise. August 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- . The Guardian. 2007-11-21 http://www.theguardian.com/music/2007/nov/21/1000tohearbeforeyoudie.pulp. Retrieved 2015-07-14. Missing or empty
- Walters, John (11 July 2008). "Polar Bear, Polar Bear". Guardian, The (London). Retrieved 2008-07-19..
- "Peepers". The Leaf Label. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
- "Common Ground". The Leaf Label. 2010-10-25. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
- "Mercury Prize 2014: The nominees". BBC News. 10 September 2014.
- "Cuckoo". The Leaf Label. 2014-10-03. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
- The Leaf Label web site
- Held on the Tips of Fingers review at www.allaboutjazz.com
- Held on the Tips of Fingers review at BBC Jazz Review.
- In Each And Every One review at The Guardian
- Same As You review at The Guardian
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