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Sebastian Rochford

Idioma disponível: inglês
Sebastian "Seb" Rochford is a drummer, lyricist, producer, and composer based in the U.K. A first-call session musician, he has worked with dozens of artists ranging from Brigitte Fontaine and Brian Eno to Theo Girard and Rokia Traore. His intuitive style favors nuance, space, and invention over power. A founding member of Acoustic Ladyland, he also founded the Mercury Prize-nominated experimental electro-jazz band Polar Bear. He played with Sons of Kemet from 2003 until their 2019 dissolution, and serves in saxophonist Andy Sheppard's quartet. Since 2019 he has been making solo recordings as Kutcha Butcha -- NDYA (2019) and Durational (2021) -- with a trio of EPs in between. In 2023, he collaborated with pianist Kit Downes and released A Short Diary for ECM. Rochford was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1973. Of English Anglo-Indian descent, his father was poet Gerard Rochford. He has nine siblings. Rochford began playing drums as a child and picked up piano, guitar, and several other instruments. He was educated at The Grammar School and as a teen, he played in an Aberdeen punk band called Cabbage. He studied at and graduated from the Newcastle College of Music and moved to London. He joined alternative rock band Menlo Park in 2000, and they released a self-titled album. In 2001, he became a founding member of London jazz quartet Acoustic Ladyland with saxophonist Pete Wareham, bassist Tom Herbert, and keyboardist Tom Cawley. In late 2002, he founded experimental electronic jazz group Polar Bear with Herbert, Wareham, and second saxophonist Mark Lockheart. The following year, Rochford and Herbert joined good friend Shabaka Hutchings' spiritual jazz group Sons of Kemet and played in the New Westbrook Orchestra (Mike Westbrook) on the double-album Chanson Irresponsable. Dim Lit, Polar Bear's debut album, netted them a BBC Jazz Award for best newcomer in 2004. In addition, Acoustic Ladyland issued its debut album, Camouflage. That same year Rochford played on Oriole's Song for the Sleeping, Kate Westbrook's Cuff Clout (A Neoteric Music Hall), and Babyshambles' self-titled three-track EP. The following year Polar Bear released Held on the Tips of Fingers and toured the U.K. and Europe. During his downtime, he did session work with guitarists Trevor Warren (Dissembler) and Justin Bratoëff (Between Lines). Acoustic Ladyland released two albums in 2006: Skinny Grin and Last Chance Disco. He also played on such diverse projects as Joanna MacGregor & the Britten Sinfonia's Sidewalk Dances: 14 Moondog Pieces, joined Oriole and cut Migration, and played on Ingrid Laubrock's and Liam Noble's Let's Call This... ‎In 2007, Rochford was busy: he played on the Acoustic Ladyland-issued Live, the Mercury Prize-nominated Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford, and on Count Herbert II, the only album by Fulborn Teversham, the drummer's experimental project with Wareham. In 2008 Rochford worked on Adele's Mercury Prize-nominated 19 and went on the road with her. That same year, Polar Bear issued its 14-track self-titled offering on the Leaf Label. Rochford also got the nod to play drums on Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, by David Byrne and Brian Eno. Rochford was busy touring, but managed to do session work with Brigitte Fontaine on 2009's Prohibition. Polar Bear returned in 2010 with Peepers, the same year Rochford played on Corinne Bailey Rae's Mercury Prize-nominated The Sea. That year also saw him join the Loop Collective (the same year as future collaborator Kit Downes). He rejoined Fontaine in 2011 for L'un N'empêche pas L'autre in 2011. In addition to playing gigs with Polar Bear, he joined Eno and Rick Holmes on Drums Between the Bells, the sessions for Brett Anderson's Black Rainbows, and worked with African guitarist Fatoumata Diawara on Fatou. 2012 saw Oriole release Every New Day, which Rochford played on and co-produced. That year the drummer also joined world-renowned English saxophonist Andy Sheppard and Algerian- French bassist Michel Benita on the globally acclaimed Trio Libero for ECM. In 2013, the drummer joined Malian guitarist and singer Rokia Traore on her album Beautiful Africa, and Sons of Kemet finally released Burn, its acclaimed debut album. Because of his touring obligations with Sons of Kemet, Rochford's only recorded work in 2014 was backing Grace Jones on "Original Beast," her contribution to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack, as well as Polar Bear's In Each and Every One; the latter was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Rochford's world then revolved around his activity with those two bands. The latter released the full-length Same as You in March 2015, and followed with a tour. In September, the former's globally celebrated Lest We Forget What We Came Here to Do was released and supported by a tour of international jazz festivals. Further, Sheppard expanded his trio to a quartet that included Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset. They released Surrounded by the Sea for ECM. The drummer joined the Patti Smith Group's tour that produced the Live Europe 2016 EP. He also collaborated with multi-instrumentalist/composer David Coulter on the album Good Friday. In 2017, Rochford joined the propulsive post-bop trio of French bassist Theo Girard (alongside trumpeter Antoine Berjeaut); they released the acclaimed 30YearsFrom in October. In 2018, Rochford guested on Arrhythmia, a solo effort by Tindersticks' Stuart A. Staples. Sons of Kemet's Impulse offering, Your Queen Is a Reptile, was their final studio album as the group formally split. Rochford played on Romaria by the Andy Sheppard Quartet and went on the tour. He returned to work on ECM the following year as part of pianist/organist/composer Kit Downes' quintet on Dreamlife of Debris. He played drums on Leafcutter John's electro-folk wonder Yes! Come Parade with Us, appeared on Lockheart's Days on Earth, and cut Bulle, with Girard's group (now a quartet with alto saxophonist Basile Naudet). Most importantly, he formed the solo project Kutcha Butcha. Weaving together a wide variety of electronic and organic sounds, Rochford wrote, produced, mixed, and played all instruments. It can only be described as “experimental.” He recorded in London as well as other countries using a mobile set-up. NDYA, his project's digitally released debut, was followed by the long, two-track EP At Odds, recorded entirely on electronic drums. Though 2020 was the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rochford was able to work on several recordings. He, Coulter, and Julia Kent released the digital album, From Isolation 6, and he played on Abrasive Trees' Bound for an Infinite Sea (his brother, guitarist Matthew Rochford’s band). In May, with the global shutdown in full effect, Kutcha Butcha recorded the electronic suite Separation in May. In 2021, Rochford rejoined Abrasive Trees on the Replenishing Water EP, and with Girard recorded Pensées Rotatives -- in addition to the drummer and bassist, the lineup included five saxophonists and five trumpeters. The following year Rochford's Kulta Butcha project released the Prerevolution EP, its most abstract release to date. The following month, he followed suit with the eerie, full-length Durational, consisting of two long tracks totaling 34 minutes. Further, producer John Parish recruited Rochford for Aldous Harding’s 4AD album, Warm Chris. In September the drummer was one of many performers to appear on singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop’s Order of Romance. Rochford signed his own deal with ECM as a bandleader. 2023's A Short Diary, his leader debut, was recorded in duo with Downes on piano and organ. Recorded at Rochford's childhood home in Scotland on his grandfather's piano, its contents consisted of the drummer's original compositions in memory of his father, poet and psychotherapist Gerard Rochford, who passed in 2019.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo
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