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The Cody Blog: NMF: Jamie Cullum

Monday, April 03, 2006

NMF: Jamie Cullum

I couldn’t get back here on Friday night to post, so last week’s New Music Friday comes today on Monday. At least it was daylight savings time over the weekend, right?

My friend, Steve, manages some really great artists, including Tracy Chapman, of RRT fame. He was in town last week with one of his other clients, Jamie Cullum, and I had the privilege of checking out my second Jamie Cullum concert in as many years.

With that full disclosure of conflicted interest, I’ll just call it as I perceive it: Jamie Cullum is the real deal.

I guarantee that you’ve never seen or heard anyone play piano like this guy. Your mind knows that it’s listening to jazz. But your ears hear pop. It’s like he’s somehow figured out how to modernize jazz for us. And I don’t use ‘modernize’ in the same way that the high-brow crowd does when they refer to that stuff they call ‘modern’ art. And I don’t mean what they mean when they write about ‘modern’ classical music. I mean that he’s found a way to make jazz sound MUSICAL to those of us who truly think that Michael Jackson has written and recorded some great pop music.

Jamie’s music pushes the envelope by fusing disparate styles of music together in new ways. And his voice chameleons soothingly when it needs to be and infectiously excitingly(ly-ly-ly?) when it needs to be. And, yeah, his song writing is great too and all that jazz (pun intended, weak as it is, sigh). He’s also got a great band that you can sense is oozing talent out of its seams but that fits neatly behind Jamie’s genius.

I’d suggest just buying each of his two albums ‘Twentysomething’ and ‘Catching Tales’. Highlights of the more recent Catching Tales include ‘Photograph’ with its catchy piano riffs and ‘London Skies’ with its gliding harmonic chorus.

Finally, I’d just note that you really need to catch Jamie in concert to truly appreciate his music. He’ll crack you up as he’s jumping up and off his piano while he and his band mates sing, whistle, trade instruments, joke and put on quite a show full of lots of originals and covers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to hear that someone else thinks Jamie is just a magical performer. So your friend Steve manages him....I thought his manager was named Mark???? Please Explain. You are correct in saying that someone might love Jamie's music when they hear it but to see him perform live is another experience entirely.

4/16/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger RC said...

a student at the school i teach at introduced me to Jamie and I think he's phenomonal.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

6/02/2006 03:02:00 PM  

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