x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Jamie Cullum: Momentum

Cullum's creative evolution continues apace in this splendidly diverse album.

Jamie Cullum's Momentum.
Jamie Cullum's Momentum.

Jamie Cullum
Momentum
(Island)
****

 

How to describe Jamie Cullum? Is he still a jazz musician? Having dabbled with house and techno on his last album, 2009’s 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 Yourself’s 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, it’s 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 Porter’s 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 – recorded with the gifted producer Nostalgia 77 – and even the weaker songs invariably finish with a flourish of his keyboard talents. Cullum’s momentum is in the right direction.

artslife@thenational.ae

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