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Held On The Tips Of Fingers

Price: £13.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
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Amazon's Polar Bear Store


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Polar Bear are a perfect fit for a modern London, where influences constantly collide to create new and exciting hybrids. Their take on jazz is never limited by constricting notions of what a genre ‘ought’ to sound like. Led by drummer/bandleader Sebastian Rochford, with saxophonists Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart, double bassist Tom Herbert and Leafcutter John on electronics and ... Read more in Amazon's Polar Bear Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Held On The Tips Of Fingers + Peepers + Dim Lit
Price For All Three: £36.12

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Sept. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rub Recordings
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,404 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Was Dreaming You Called You Disapeared I Slept
2. Beartown
3. Fluffy (I Want You)
4. To Touch The Red Brick
5. Held On The Tips Of Fingers
6. Argumentative
7. Your Eyes The Sea
8. The King Of Aberdeen
9. Life That Wnds Too Soon

Product Description

Product Description

Reissue of best selling 2005 Babel album (BDV2552). Tracks: Was Dreaming You Called, You Disappeared, I Slept / Beartown / Fluffy (I Want You) / To Touch The Red Brick / Held On The Tips Of Fingers / Argumentative / The King Of Aberdeen / Your Eyes The Sea / Life That Ends Too Soon.

BBC Review

So long as you don't happen to be sitting behind him in a cinema, drummer, bandleader and big hair owner Seb Rochford is a heartening sight. His familiar silhouette at a gig promises the best of London's new scene. Like his legendary hair, his music runs wild and free, and as his second album with Polar Bear shows, increasingly deserves attention.

Along with bands like Spaceways Inc. and The Thing, Polar Bear combine the fervour of free jazz with the intensity of punk. It seems its an approach whose time has come, with other groups like Hypnotoad and even The Bad Plus also ploughing the same furrow. Unburdened both by punk primitivism and by improv's disdain for its audience, new skronk bands like Polar Bear are the most exciting development for years in post-jazz music.

Rochford has been honing his skills for a while now as a part of DIY music collective F-IRE but finally made a splash last year with the finely crafted debut Dim Lit. Despite rumoured offers to join the new band of ex-Libertine Pete Doherty, he's stayed true to his music, picking up the BBC's rising star award along the way.

The new record Held On The Tips Of Fingers continues his momentum, with the band's lean line up of bass, drums and two tenor saxophones used to the full. Though a twin tenor frontline may sound risky, it's interesting to hear how the boisterous Pete Wareham alternately blends and contrasts with the more measured Mark Lockheart on tracks like "Argumentative".

Electronica artist Leafcutter John has also been newly recruited and fills out the sound throughout, fizzing like R2D2 on dexedrine during "To Touch The Red Brick". But it's the gutbucket grooves supplied by Rochfords drums and bassist Tom Herbert that really get you in the chest, going like the clappers on "Your Eyes The Sea" while the horns give it both barrels.

Held On The Tips Of Fingers makes serious advances on their debut. Seb Rochford clearly has a bright future ahead. Maybe you should avoid his local cinema though... --Russell Finch

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By mtro on 23 Aug. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Polar Bear are a group that have got a lot of press attention and deservedly so, here are a group keeping jazz alive without resorting to age-old cliches of the genre and incorporating elements of other styles to create some appeal to a young audience. Seb Rochford's compositions are simple yet they are strong improvisational frameworks which the two tenor players certainly take advantage of. If I were to pick a favourite track it would be 'Fluffy' which mixes acoustic jazz with drum and bass drum patterns, and uses rhythmic editing for some exciting sounds. Unlike their counterpart group (sharing three of four members) Acoustic Ladyland, the group do not use any electric or electronic instruments which adds a strange edge to their cutting edge music, in that the acoustic sound is not what you expect. Top marks!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lucas Van Lenten on 19 Jan. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a fantastic record - totally fresh sounding without leaving the familiar in the dust.

Funky, soulful, weird, it's got it all, without resorting to nu-jazz schmaltz or jamband noodlery.

Get it, as well as Dim Lit.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Jazz 30 Dec. 2007
By Mohamed - Published on Amazon.com
Polar Bear is one of my favorite contemporary jazz bands. Excellent structure and composition, with a lot similarities to some portions of Morphine and Miles dark and cool jazz, as well as some electronic influences (although the album is primarily instrumental). The band is mostly made up of members of Acoustic Ladyland, which I never was able to get into, but Polar Bear has managed to make the rounds on any of my playlists over the past few months.

It's fun, stylistic, innovative, and all round stunning music, jazz or otherwise. It fits just as comfortably in a Jazz collection as it would in a Indie or Balkan collection, and manages to put a smile on my face every time I listen to it!

As for the other reviewers that pulled this album down because they felt mislead into purchasing it: please, at least take the effort to do a little research into the albums you buy, before chastising a band for not being another group you were blindly purchasing albums from. I know some of you have deep wallets, but does that mean you have no common sense?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well its great and... 1 May 2006
By David M. Small - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Its a great disc and the other two posters who did not realize what this disc was has improperly offset the ratings... so though I would normally give it 4 stars the fifth star is for the one that should be in the overall ratings....
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Just a jazz band eh? 2 Dec. 2005
By A. C. Gollings - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Unlike the previous reviewer i have actually listened to this album (many times)and feel a little more qualified to review it. It's a beautifully composed and arranged album played by some of the finest musicians in the U.K. It brings to mind Eric Dolphy at times with russian influences in there as well. Three of the members of Polar Bear also play in Acoustic Ladyland who play a kind jazz punk fusion ('Last chance disco' will blow you away)
Five Stars 20 Aug. 2014
By jim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love this. Just quirky enough to be interesting. Solid musicianship. Different.
4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Very Misleading ... 26 Feb. 2006
By David Leikam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I saw this and thought Polar Bear (with Eric Avery) had finally recorded a new album especially since it said, "Buy this album (Held on the Tips of Fingers) with Why Something Instead of Nothing ~ Polar Bear today! " The price was rather expensive though but I did consider. The album WSIN is great by the way for an interesting alternative / experimental rock album. Amazon.com should really not pair these two albums just based on the band names.
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