Polar Bear

Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

To keep the spirit of jazz burning, the music has to move on. And while Polar Bear play in what is known as the 'jazz tradition', they make sure they give it a good seeing to. Their exploratory and restive music shifts from genre to genre with fleet-footed assuredness. The twin – and equally gifted – tenor saxophones of Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart lead the fray with bassist Tom Herbert's endlessly inventive bass.

Pencil thin and with a candy-floss afro straight out of the Hair Bear Bunch, composer and drummer Seb Rochford's disarming introductions seem engagingly at odds with his powerhouse drumming skills. Adding electronic whoops, squirts, wails, processed from his laptop factory, Leafcutter John's contribution is essential to the band's trademark utilisation of odd intervals and time signatures. Call it nu jazz, post jazz, new wave. Or just completely wonderful.

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