The British vocalist and pianist Jamie Cullum – Album Review

The British vocalist and pianist Jamie Cullum is equal parts pop, jazz and showman on “The Pursuit” (***, out March 2 on Verve Forecast), a swinging affair filled with stylistic gear changes.

You have to admire someone who has the panache to successfully tackle a big-band arrangement of Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things,” a smoky version of Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” and a perfectly lovely rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s “Not While I’m Around,” all on one album. His own material is equally compelling, starting with the pensive but pretty “Wheels” and McCartney-esque breakup ditty “I’m All Over It.” Couple these with the moody closer “Gran Torino,” written with Clint Eastwood for the actor/director’s film shot in Michigan, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

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