Rewind Review: Jamie Cullum “The Pursuit”
I hope that you know by now that Grown Folks Music is not just about soul, r&b and the occasional rock track. We are all about music of any genre that we love, and no genre is more grown than jazz. Contrary to popular belief, jazz is actually a large genre with multiple sub categories.
One of the most talked about artists within the modern jazz subcategory is Mr. Jamie Cullum. Jamie is considered sort of a “wild child” in the jazz world. The smashed piano on the front of the cd cover was your first hint.
He first caught the attention of U.S. audiences when he covered Pharrell William’s “Frontin’” on his “Twentysomething” cd. Jamie continues this trend on “The Pursuit”, with a remake of Rihanna’s Michael Jackson sampled “Don’t Stop the Music”. Rihanna’s version is upbeat, but I am actually more partial to Jamie’s version. He adds sophistication with his arrangement of the party tune.
“The Pursuit” is one of those cds where you think you don’t know the tracks, and then you listen and realize that you’ve already heard a track or two somewhere- i.e. in a tv or radio commercial.
I love how the cd opens with “Just One of Those Things”. The song kind of creeps up on you, as Jamie recalls a wild night in which he can’t remember much, let alone the name of his female companion. “I’m All Over It” is a fun song that begins with a unassuming piano intro and then becomes more assuming as the song continues as Jamie sings “…and I said I could change, but I lied”. Well, at least he’s honest.
“Wheels” has this haunting melody that will have you promising that you’ve heard the song somewhere. I’ll admit that when I first saw the title “If I Ruled the World” in the tracklisting, I thought that Jamie had remade Nas and Lauryn Hill’s classic duet (Hey, it could happen). No dice this time. Jamie’s “If I Ruled the World” finds him in a rare serious and mellow vibe, wishing for a better world in which “every man would be as free as a bird and every voice would be a voice to be heard”.
“You and Me Are Gone” is my favorite track on the cd, because Jamie just cuts loose and fuses big band with hand claps and goes for it. It’s easy to picture a high energy video of couples dancing in the vein of the Brian Setzer orchestra videos. “Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down” is a very strong track. It sounds like something Billy Joel would have recorded. “I Think, I Love” leans more toward classic jazz. The song has both sweet and funny lyrics, and the track reminds me of a modern version of “My Funny Valentine”. “We Run Things” is a song that is so infused with a hip hop and pop vibe that you may forget that you are listening to a “jazz” cd.
“The Pursuit” is a great cd for background music for a party as the cd flows very well, (especially within the first half of the cd) as a slow tempo track is followed by an uptempo track, which is then followed by a couple of mid-tempo tracks. The deluxe version (with a bonus dvd) of “The Pursuit” is available at Amazon.com.
“Don’t Stop the Music”:
“Frontin” from the “Twentysomething” cd: