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Polar Bear [CD]

Polar Bear Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £10.28
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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

Visit Amazon's Polar Bear Store
for 6 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

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Frequently Bought Together

Polar Bear + Peepers + Held on the Tips of Fingers
Price For All Three: £39.42

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 July 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Tin Angel
  • ASIN: B001AQYPX6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,918 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Tay
2. Goodbye
3. "Appears, moves and sails"
4. Tomlovesalivelovestom
5. Voices
6. Industry
7. Brian
8. Sunshine
9. Leafcup
10. It Snows Again
11. Sounds Like A Train To Me
12. I Am Alive
13. Woollen Blanket
14. Joy Jones

Product Description

Product Description

Polar Bear have earned a reputation as one of the most creative acts on the UK music scene, a status rewarded when they were nominated as one of the finalists in the 2005 Mercury Prize. Their raw-boned, dramatic music mixes jazz with an electronic soundscape and a punk sensibility, underpinned by break-beat and rock rhythms. Combined with their compelling contrapuntal melodies and driving energy it's a sound that has already won them critical acclaim and a devoted audience - and now they release their highly anticipated first new album for three years.
Drummer and bandleader Sebastian Rochford is as likely to listen to Bjork, Devendra Banhart, Beethoven and Pig Destroyer as he is to Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Alongside Sebastian Rochford, Polar Bear is Pete Wareham (tenor sax), Mark Lockheart (tenor sax) and Tom Herbert (bass) Leafcutter John (electronics). Sebastian Rochford won the 'Rising Star' award at the 2004 BBC Jazz Awards. He also leads Fulborn Teversham and is a member of Acoustic Ladyland and alt-rock band Menlo Park.

BBC Review

It's now three years on from Polar Bear's last album, Held On The Tips Of Fingers. It's not surprising that it's taken the band a while to get back in the studio and put something substantial together. The shock-headed and ubiquitous Seb Rochford has been working on so much stuff in the last couple of years in and out of the F-IRE collective, that we should be grateful that he had the time to return to this fabulous combo. The self-titled third album is a triumph.

This time around, rather than Rochford and bassist, Tom Herbert, being the lynchpins, it's been left to the drifting lo-fi tenor sax combo of Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart to lead us into the Bear's world of vaguely dubby, glitchy, but always groovesome post-jazz. But this isn't to say that the bass doesn't hold the centre like the biggest, most dependable hitching post you could care to tether your improv horse to. There's rather more of a slinky Carribbean aspect to the mix now, like Sonny Rollins fed through Supercollider. Opener, Tay, shimmies into the room riding on Herbert's bass, and Tomlovesalicelovestom is a spry skip through the most charming tune they've yet written. Leafcutter John's contributions are never overly pushy, though on this number he uses squeaks and squalls to dot the track with Clanger-like noises. If the Alice referred to is Coltrane, she'd approve of the cosmic bufoonery, I'm sure. Meanwhile Voices finds the band in pure digital land, filled up with chiming itchy bells and Industry is a crawl through breathy melancholy and exclamation. Like another track, It Snows Again, there's a gradual bulid up of tension that speaks volumes about the way in which they approach their work these days.

For a band who could, at the drop of a hat, shred wallpaper if they so desired, Polar Bear is a surprisingly restrained affair, but that's no disappointment. Rather, the tunes and grooves contained herein speak of maturity, consideration and a great sense of just when to get weird on our collective asses.

The second track (perversely titled Goodbye) breaks into a space invaders-in-Birdland place halfway through, but always the theme's nailed again before the closing two minutes of post-Soft Machine repeat and drone electronica. Equally perversely named, Joy Jones, ends it all with beautifully funereal dissonance. It's a wonderfully liberating sense of release and control in even measure that makes Polar Bear such a fine record. Welcome back, boys... --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent third album from genius jazzers 21 July 2008
By Sick Mouthy VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Apparently recorded in late 2006 but not released until now, Mercury-nominated Polar Bear's third album is also their longest, and sees them making increasing use of electronics to add texture to their music. Songs like Goodbye dissolve from the kind of tuneful, genre-hopping upbeat cool jazz we recognise as Polar Bear's signature sound into a cloud of low-key electronic droning before transforming seamlessly into the following track, while Voices is out-and-out ambient jazz, and good with it. All the while Polar Bear weave through bop, fusion, free and any other kind of jazz they fancy with scant regard for conservative classicism, proving themselves yet again to be about the best band in the world in any musical field. Awesome.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great new jazz 6 Aug 2009
Format:Audio CD
Had this album for a while now and glad didn't review earlier because it gets better with time .It's a long album but is best listend to all at once.Not sure where some of the songs end and some begin ,they bleed into each other which give the album a dream quality.
The bass is louder in the mix than on previous efforts giving it more of a dub feel.
Won't give it a label but if you like Alice Coltrane later Boredoms stuff or any good head music buy this!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 5 Nov 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Saw these guys play the Tunnels in Aberdeen couple of years ago and they blew me away. Been obsessed with them since and from there have discovered lots more about contemporary British Jazz. This Album is a must listen. A display of mad creativity that seems to just work on many levels. I strongly recommend you purchase all their music.
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