Polar Bear – Dim Lit (2004)

Polar Bear - Dim Lit (2004)
Artist: Polar Bear
Album: Dim Lit
Genre: Free Jazz, Avant-Garde, Nu-Jazz
Origin: UK
Released: 2004
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Heavy Paws On The Purple Floor (6:27)
Not Hear, Not Near (6:51)
Eves Apple (8:01)
Polar Bear Standing And Ready (3:45)
Urban Kilt (6:21)
Snow (4:30)
Underneath You Can See Too Much (7:00)
The Shapes In The Clouds Aren’t Always Happy (7:27)
New Dark Park (9:31)
Wild Horses (5:12)


Polar Bear, a British quartet with two tenor saxophonists plus bass and drums, was one of the most striking ensembles to emerge on the home circuit in 2003. Unlike so many hurtling, high-energy postbop bands, its approach was distinctive, based on the murmuring conversations of the two horns and the ability of bassist Tom Herbert and the superb drummer Seb Rochford to weave their contributions into the sound of the ensemble’s evolving melody.

This is the band’s debut album and it captures their unique virtues, from the slow criss-crossing of long, exhaling tenor sounds over Rochford’s meditative, almost doodling percussion to the gradual thickening of a single rising motif on Not Here, Not Near.

Wareham’s charging baritone sax swinger Polar Bear Standing and Ready is counterbalanced by some blurty free jazz, while Julia Biel’s vocal Snow could almost be a whimsical Robert Wyatt song. The closer, Wild Horses, is a classic smoky ballad with a free-impressionistic undertow, in which the tenor harmonies suggest a much bigger band.