Phillyist Playlist: Jamie Cullum at the Keswick

We are SO excited for tomorrow night. One of our favorite people, Jamie Cullum is coming back to Philly. We remember having an amazing time when he came to the Kimmel Center and World Cafe Live before that. Both previous times we were treated to an explosively entertaining show, Cullum pounding on the piano and throwing his whole body into the performance to the point where WE felt tired coming out. This time around, he’s coming to the Keswick and we can’t wait. Phillyist had a chance to interview Jamie a few weeks ago, discussing his new album, The Pursuit which came out this Tuesday, coming back to Philly and Clint Eastwood. We learned a lot.

How has the new album been recieved so far?
Magnificently. It’s been selling well and so far has been enjoyed and liked by critics. I’m very proud of this record. In the past I wasn’t totally sure about the outcome but with this album after it was finished I thought, “Wow, this is really good.”

Having been a fan for a long time and knowing the style of your albums, I was happy to hear something very distinct and different in your recording process. Can you tell me about that?
With this record, I had a different mic placement in every track. I wanted to give the listener the feeling of really being there and participating in the recording. On the opening track, “One of Those Things”, I used only four mics for the whole band, including my vocals and piano.

What was it you did in “I Think I Love”? The sound is so dry—I really love it!
Aw, thanks! I set up this one differently in that instead of miking the instrument and my voice, I miked the room instead.

Tell us about the album cover. What’s with the exploding piano?
Well, my live show is very energetic. When I’m photographing something, the photographers always ask you to be energetic. If you see an album cover with a piano and boy in a suit, you kind of know what you’re going to expect. With the piano exploding, it conveys more of what you’re going to see in the live show.

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You’ve done a few collaborations with Clint Eastwood lately. How did that come about?
Well first off, I’m friends with Clint’s son so we hang out every once in a while. It was really a very organic process. For Gran Torino I just went to his house and started recording. Clint really just lets you do your thing. He knows what he wants. We did the song in two takes and it was done.

One last question: Is there any chance of Heard It All being re-released—only 500 copies were pressed? We’d really like to get our hands on a copy of that.
(laughs) Not by me. Maybe when I’m dead. Nah, I’m sure you could find it on the internet somewhere.

Well, I’m not a big proponent of illegally downloading music. I’m a music teacher and can’t bring myself to do that to another musician.
Aw, well I really appreciate that. Tell you what: come see me after the show and I’ll have a copy for you.

Jamie, now that you’ve said that and we’ve printed it, you’re bound by Phillyist law.

This show is sold out, but if you can get tickets on Craigslist, please do. It’s going to be a great show and we’re going to have a wonderful time.

Jamie Cullum with Imelda May
Keswick Theatre, Glenside PA
March 5th, 2010 8:00pm
Tickets: SOLD OUT! See what you can grab on Craigslist.

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