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Seeing Music: Review of Terrace Martin & The Polly Seeds Live at London Jazz Festival

Terrace Martin, The Polly Seeds and Rose Gold performed a magical set at the Jazz Cafe Camden, November 2016. This is a review by Parisa East.

Terrace Martin is a hip hop producer and jazz musician. His career spans touring with Snoop Dog for 10 years, producing much of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, working with Herbie Hancock, Dr Dre, Lalah Hathaway, The Game, Busta Rhymes, and being protégé to Quincy Jones.

Performing with The Polly Seeds, an extraordinary trio of bass, drums and keys (who we will return to shortly), and vocalist Rose Gold (natural fly-wonder), the entire night front to back was one of flawless excellence. Terrace Martin acknowledges God openly on stage as the giver of his gifts, saying his true purpose is to ensure every audience leaves fulfilled by their music. He later said we now have become one of his favourite ever crowds.

The performance was made of a set and solos including For Free, Tribal Dance Real/Untitled 5, Think of You, In a Sentimental Mood, Bromali, Valdez off Crenshaw, and improvised Black music. Terrace tore it up on sax, keys, vocoda, storytelling, and encouraged his band to be as he put it ‘Leaders’. It was a unit, they encouraged each other, listened to each other, praised each other with their craft. It was out this world Afro-American heaven. Gospel, jazz, soul, blues, hip hop, funk, reggae and disco are innovations of Black Americans. Terrace and the Polly Seeds are genetic torch bearers.

From his passionate anecdotes we learned that he grew up from 15 years old with Robert Glasper, but in their area, every birthday is a huge celebration, because making it past 20 years old is a rewarding achievement.

Walking into The Jazz Cafe is an experience itself. You glide across the wooden floor into purple lighting, breathe in the stage, the balcony, and take your position. The DJ is reeling off songs you can only hope to hear again. The whole club reverberates with the memory of a thousand musicians putting in their all. A special mention to the female bouncer for her welcome.

The Polly Seeds are bassist Brandon Eugene Owens, drummer Trevor Lawrence Jr, keys player Taber Gable, and singer Rose Gold, who is full of chilled swagger - her tone and vocals are completely her own. Each musician had skill, discipline, dexterity, knowledge and soul. If you do anything from reading this, click their names now and listen to their individual projects.

Energy is real, frequencies are real: that’s why your ears perk up to melodies, or your body moves to rhythm, and you can even feel internal pain from hearing scratchy-scraping sounds. If you are exposed to more than an hour’s soulful, jazzy, bassy, hip-hoppy music you are enlarging your heart’s capacity to feel utter bliss. Terrace, Rose and The Polly Seeds thank you and bless you for this uplifting, exciting, boundary pushing experience.

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