How to describe Jamie Cullum? Is he still a jazz musician? Having dabbled with house and techno on his last album, 2009ís†The Pursuit, Cullum did consider just covering jazz standards for this follow-up but, thankfully, his creative evolution continues apace. The 33-year-old introduces some splendidly diverse new compositions here, from Get a Hold of Yourselfís acoustic folk to the anthemic soul of†Anyway,†which will surely be appropriated by a big-voiced diva soon. When he does rework a standard, itís anything but traditional. A downbeat version of†Pure Imagination, once warbled by Willy Wonka, cleverly revitalises the grandiose movie classic. Bolder still is his quasi-cover of Cole Porterís†Love for $ale, based around a Roots Manuva sample and guest-starring the British rapper, to good effect. There is a splash of jazz, on†When I Get Famous Ė recorded with the gifted producer Nostalgia 77 Ė and even the weaker songs invariably finish with a flourish of his keyboard talents. Cullumís momentum is in the right direction.
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