Jamie Cullem – The Pursuit

Jamie Cullem
The Pursuit
Universal – 2009

Acclaimed by critics as Jamie Cullum’s strongest album to date, ‘The Pursuit’ finds the Essex-born crossover jazz pianist in eclectic mood. This follow-up to 2005’s ‘Catching Tales’ was recorded at his home studio as well as in LA and features self-penned material alongside tracks written by Cole Porter amongst others.

The cover of Rhinna’s Please Don’t Stop The Music is as wistful and brooding as the original. Wheels is an upbeat romp inspired by todays money market issues; I’m All Over It is a soft-rock sinfgle that deserves radio play.

The¬†title is taken from Nancy Mitford’s classic novel, The Pursuit Of Love and sums up the album very well. “In life, we pursue everything. Life is one long pursuit,” says Jamie and the album is just such a pursuit – a combination of his eclectic music tastes and enduring love of Jazz and its timeless standards.

It is a record that mixes his heritage with a thrilling selection of modern influences. Describing its sound he moves from Cole Porter to Rhianna to Aphex Twin in the same sentence. Jamie is a performer capable of delivering constant surprises with a talent elastic enough to evince a four-to-the-floor acoustic Ibiza song on the same record as a lushly recorded Jazz standard.