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Polar Bear

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There is more than one artist with this name: a British jazz band and an American rock band.

1) Polar Bear is a British jazz band led by drummer Seb Rochford. Signed to the Babel Label, their first album Dim Lit was a small-scale success. Their second album, Held on the Tips of Fingers, merged elements of cool jazz, funk, dance music, free jazz, electronica, and Drum and Bass, and was a crossover hit, earning Polar Bear a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize in 2005. The success was all the more unusual for a largely instrumental album. The album was nominated for a BBC Jazz Award 2006. They are part of the F-IRE Collective.

Their latest album (titled eponymously, released July 2008) continues much in the vein of their sophomore release, focusing on the fusion of many different styles of jazz. While much more dense and lengthy than their earlier releases, early reviews are speaking highly of it.


2) Polar Bear were a Los Angeles-based band led by former Jane’s Addiction bassist, Eric Avery, who formed the band with Biff Sanders, formerly of Ethyl Meatplow, as a side project. They recorded most of their music in downtown Los Angeles, at Motiv studios. Many Jane’s Addiction fans consider Why Something Instead of Nothing? to be the best post-Jane’s Addiction work done by any of the four original members. It was re-released in 2004.

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