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Jamie Cullum - Twentysomething - Verve

Welcome to the shape of jazz to come. He is pianist and singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum, currently one of a handful of “twentysomething” “jazz” artists interpreting pop songs old and new, and writing originals on his own unique terms. Cullum’s album Twentysomething, and his charismatic, energetic shows land him in the States as a bonafide UK superstar. Superstardom in the UK rarely assures success in the States (ask the Smiths and Robbie Williams about that), however, early stateside reviews of Cullum’s new album and his sensational stage show are pointing towards something new and interesting coming our way.

Standing tall at 5 foot 4 inches, the 24 year old Cullum is not afraid to take risks on his album or during his shows. He recently opened a concert with covers of Cole Porter’s “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” and “Frontin’” by The Neptunes. Before he launched into his imaginative heart wrenching cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” (all three songs are on his album) he referred to the Porter/Neptune opening salvo as “classic pop songs separated by thirty years.”

With a background in jazz and classical music, Cullum is an obvious lover of music and his choice of eclectic covers like “High And Dry” by Radiohead, “Hendrix’s “Wind Cries Mary,” Lerner and Loewe’s “I Could Have Danced All Night,” and “Singin’ In The Rain” are exploding with creativity. The reflective jazzy spins on his wide ranging choice of covers are second only to his witty originals like the album’s title track, “All At Sea,” and “Next Year, Baby.”

With a band that's not afraid to hit the groove or flirt with whimsy, Jamie Cullum is an exciting new talent. He’ll charm you in his Black high-top Converse sneakers, his pixie-ish good looks and his Billy Joel-esque vocals. If any part of the music lover in you enjoys Steely Dan, Norah Jones, Joel and yes, dare I say even the pop side of Harry Connick then Cullum’s album is worth checking out. And if you come to this party favoring the originals of some of the artists Cullum covers like Radiohead and Hendrix and Jeff Buckley, then you might be surprised by Cullum’s confident verve.

Written by Bruce Warren

Release Date 5/11/2004

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