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Out of stock



Label: LEAF

Format: Vinyl LP

Genre: Experimental

Out of stock

Elsewhere, ‘The Love Didn't Go Anywhere’ sees Leafcutter John play guitar on a beautifully loping piece that has the subtle afterglow of classic Roxy Music, with Bryan Ferry’s vocal replaced by the rapier glide of the two reeds, while Tom Herbert’s hefty double bass pounds out concise but penetrating lines. Interestingly, prior to the sessions, Rochford listened to a lot of ‘60s soul (“Aretha and Marvin Gaye”), an influence that he has channelled with more guile than is immediately discernible. Rochford’s bandmates have that vital mixture of experience and youth, maturity and energy that often defines the best ensembles in improvised music. Tenor saxophonist Mark Lockheart has been a highly respected player on the British jazz scene since the early ‘80s, when he debuted with the revered big band Loose Tubes. Pete Wareham, the group’s other tenor player, is best known as the leader of Acoustic Ladyland (in which Rochford also drums). Double bassist Tom Herbert was also an original member of Wareham’s band and has racked up a huge list of credits through his work with anybody from stellar jazz soloists Andrew McCormack and Finn Peters to membership of 2009 Mercury prize nominees The Invisible. Finally, Leafcutter John, who joined Polar Bear following their debut release, is an irrepressibly open-minded artist intent on exploring as many novel sound worlds as possible, while retaining a connection to folk music of the most ancestral kind. The producer of four solo albums, the versatility of John’s work at any given point is breathtaking. Perhaps his most significant contribution to Peepers is the unsettling Middle Eastern influence on ‘Finding Our Feet’ (featuring his own recorded vocal), and it’s with John’s influence that Polar Bear’s live performance transcends its base elements, featuring as it does playful interjections of noise triggered by games console controllers, and a balloon solo…On his accompanists Rochford makes a telling observation. “Our friendship is really important to me. If you’re friends it makes a big difference to how you and the music grow. They’re all open to new things and our friendship means that it’s about more than just music. Everyone’s coming from a different place with different influences but can share in the same concept. It’s an exciting thing. It means things can stay open.” Peepers thus stands as another strong document of both Seb Rochford’s development as a bandleader and writer as well as player. This is a group album that could not have been born without the strength of character of each musician involved, a superb, rich whole that is very much more than the sum of its illustrious parts. It’s also about vision. “The word peepers is another way of saying eyes,” Rochford says mischievously. “A musician friend of mine uses it mainly to describe cheeky ones!”

Cat. number: BAY 074LP
Year: 2010

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