Album: Polar Bear, Polar Bear (Tin Angel)

Andy Gill
Saturday 17 September 2011 13:01

Sometimes described as post-jazz, for their affinities with post-rockers such as Tortoise and Godspeed You Black Emperor, Seb Rochford’s quintet adopt a disarmingly postmodern approach to jazz, drawing from its vast library of styles with scant regard for the historical rivalries that have traditionally riven the genre into competing cliques and movements.

Basically, if it sounds right, it’s in, whether it’s the viola and mandolin augmenting the sax theme of “I Am Alive” or the looming electronic drone that gradually overwhelms the calm sax lines of “It Snows Again”.

It’s music marked by flamboyant dynamic changes, both within individual tracks, and between them – most effectively when the agonised sax squawking of “Industry” are supplanted by the treated cello and minimalist cycling saxes of “Leafcup”.

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