Despite having lived in (or near to) Ealing for a good number of years, 2005 was the first year I was brave enough to go to the Ealing Jazz Festival. Coincidentally it was the year that the F-ire Collective curated part of the day. F-ire collective at the time counted Polar Bear amongst their number. I was aware of Polar Bear and had seen band leader Seb Rochford a few weeks previously, drumming for the late, great Stan Tracey at The Bull's Head.
Despite this I was slightly unprepared by how affected I would be by seeing jazz played live in the way that Polar Bear played. This was much closer to rock than I expected, not necessarily in sound, and maybe not in presentation, but certainly in feel.
I do love this album, it is still (mostly) a jazz album, but in my head it is tied in with my jazz Damascus moment that I had during 2005.
Polar Bear - Beartown
Polar Bear - Fluffy (I Want You)
I listened to Polar Bear's new album at lunchtime to-day, if anything they're pushing at the edges of jazz even more now.
You can buy that, all their albums on Bandcamp... which makes me love them even more (even though I already have (most of) them).