Vocal Jazz / Pop/Art Song/Folk • United Kingdom
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Jamie Cullum (born 20 August 1979) is an English jazz singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Though he is a primarily a vocalist, he also accompanies himself on instruments including piano, guitar and drums.

Cullum was born in Romford, East London. He was brought up in Hullavington, Wiltshire, and educated at the independent fee-paying Grittleton House School and the sixth form at Sheldon School. He then went on to study English Literature, and minored in Film Studies, at Reading University where he graduated with First Class Honours.

His mother, Yvonne, is a secretary of Anglo-Burmese origin, whose family settled in Wales after Burma's independence; his father, John Cullum, worked in finance. His paternal grandfather was a British Army officer, while his paternal grandmother was a Jewish refugee from Prussia who sang in Berlin nightclubs.

Cullum married British model Sophie Dahl at a country hotel in the New Forest National Park in England on
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JAMIE CULLUM Discography

JAMIE CULLUM albums / top albums

JAMIE CULLUM Twentysomething album cover 3.52 | 3 ratings
Vocal Jazz 2003
JAMIE CULLUM Pointless Nostalgic album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pointless Nostalgic
Vocal Jazz 2003
JAMIE CULLUM Catching Tales album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Catching Tales
Vocal Jazz 2005
JAMIE CULLUM The Pursuit album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Pursuit
Vocal Jazz 2009
JAMIE CULLUM Momentum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2013
JAMIE CULLUM Interlude album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2014
JAMIE CULLUM Taller album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2019


JAMIE CULLUM Twenty Zero Five Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Twenty Zero Five Live
Vocal Jazz 2004

JAMIE CULLUM live albums

JAMIE CULLUM Live at Ronnie Scott's album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Ronnie Scott's
Vocal Jazz 2006

JAMIE CULLUM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JAMIE CULLUM re-issues & compilations

JAMIE CULLUM Devil May Care! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Devil May Care!
Vocal Jazz 2010

JAMIE CULLUM singles (3)

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These Are the Days / Frontin'
Vocal Jazz 2004
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Everlasting Love
Vocal Jazz 2004
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Mind Trick
Vocal Jazz 2005

JAMIE CULLUM movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


JAMIE CULLUM Twentysomething

Album · 2003 · Vocal Jazz
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An album that cleverly balances interpretations of standards, modern covers and originals.

The album cover and title should set some expectations for the contents - a young man in sneakers hangs suspended above a piano, his expression frozen in a scream. During its release there was some publicity about Cullum's past in rock and hip hop bands, so you might be forgiven for expecting that Jamie would be amping up some standards with a shot of aggression, but it generally works the other way (usually to good effect) with pop and rock songs being stripped back or given a jazz arrangement, sometimes with strings (like 'Singing in the Rain') or with organ over the piano such as on 'The Wind Cries Mary.' At other times the band sounds more like a trio or quartet, but horns and guitar and other instruments do make the odd appearance.

Cullum's voice is perhaps the defining feature of the album, not a typical crooner's voice, but distinctive nonetheless - which is all we really want in a singer. So while he isn't a powerhouse he's still pretty effective within his range. Unsurprisingly, you will not hear long soloing from piano (or other instruments), instead he plays with snap or a softer touch as per requirements of the song, supplying exactly what is needed. It's a perfect delivery for what was a massive album, crossing into the pop market and making a mark with its platinum-selling status. Not bad at all for a second album.

His interpretative skills are probably stronger on 'Twentysomething' than his songwriting, as his treatment of pieces like 'I Get a Kick Out of You' are true in tone and sharp in production and arrangement. Not all of his covers are in the 'out-of-the-ballpark' category, but Jeff Buckley's 'Lover, You Should Have Come Over' and 'High and Dry' both fit. 'Everlasting Love' is not as effective, having an odd lack of urgency, and some of the slower standards don't play as well. When he or brother Ben take on the songwriting duties, results are mixed too, as the title track and 'Next Year Baby' don't match up to the first single 'These are the Days' nor to 'All at Sea.' 'These are the Days' is a great moment of pop, evoking the classic jazz songs Cullum's drawn from for the bulk of the album, but still stamped with his attitude. 'All at Sea' is possibly the best song on the album, with its gentle opening, fine vocal performance and an unexpected change reminiscent of 'Down by the Seaside' by Led Zeppelin.

For the fan of vocal jazz, this is definitely worth a look. If you're more tentative to step into the world of vocal jazz, this album is as much about the musical arrangement as anything else so you might find something to enjoy there. Generally, 'Twentysomething' isn't a track-for-track stand out, but it's still good. Three and a half stars.

A note on the releases; this album has had more than a few, each with different bonus tracks or different album tracks, along with altered running orders. There's often significant variation between special and regular or a country's version of the record, though all releases are just about as good as each other, I prefer the editions which include the cover of 'High and Dry.'

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