Jamie Cullum // Interlude
There's a lot to like about British vocalist/pianist Jamie Cullum and his enormously satisfying new album.
There's a lot to like about British vocalist/pianist Jamie Cullum and his enormously satisfying new album. Jazz purists may sniff at it, but just about anyone with a broader perspective will find it hugely rewarding and entertaining. On his seventh album, Cullum's versatility and stunning voice stamp him as arguably the best, most exciting singer to come along in quite some time. Cullum handles with aplomb an incredibly eclectic playlist of 15 tunes, covering disparate artists from Dizzy Gillespie to Ray Charles, to Randy Newman, to Great American Songbook writers Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer ("Out of This World" and "Come Rain or Come Shine"), and even a song written by iconic jazz singer Mark Murphy. Who knew? Cullum, an award-winning jazz star in Britain, infuses everything with a natural blues and jazz feeling. And he's backed by a group of fine jazz musicians in combinations from trio to a big band sound, with brief, but mostly solid solos and consistently engaging arrangements. – Bob Protzman