Cheltenham Jazz Festival Blog: @jamiecullum #jamiecullum

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Jamie Cullum 2nd May 2010 – Cheltenham Jazz Festival

There is no doubt that the star of UK Jazz this century has been Jamie Cullum. His rise has been so meteoric that at the age of just 30 he has already been accorded the honour of Guest Director at this year’s festival.

Not surprisingly he sold out the Town Hall quickly and an excited audience eagerly anticipated his appearance. Accompanied by 5 excellent musicians he started with a storming version of Cole Porter’s ” Just One Of Those Things” before proceeding with a combination of newer songs, from his latest album ” The Pursuit”. This included an impromptu duet with the composer of ” These Are The Days” , his own song ” Twenty Something” and more standards ” Not While I’m Around” , “What A Difference A Day Makes” etc.

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These were of course performed in that true Cullum style, bouncy piano playing with equally lively support from his band. Showing complete confidence in his ability to entertain an audience both musically and just by chatting to them he showed a great sense of humour. I was particularly impressed by his versatility and producing a beautifully simple but emotional version of ” I Get Along Without You Very Well” before changing tempo and suddenly standing on ( and jumping from ) his piano.

Just when it seemed as if the audience couldn’t get anymore involved he then moved his entire
group to the centre of the auditorium so “people in the cheap seats” could have a closer look and bop along to his take on ” Cry Me A River”.

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