Stating that “everything’s gone up a notch” since his last release, pint-sized piano banger and jazz singer Jamie Cullum makes his long awaited return with The Pursuit, a new studio album finally arriving stateside March 2, 2010 via Verve after a fall ’09 release internationally. The high-energy singer/pianist is considered to be the U.K.’s most successful jazz export ever with sales of over four million for his 2003 breakout album Twentysomething and 2006’s Catching Tales. Part of Cullum’s appeal is his ability to tackle diverse contemporary songs, from Radiohead’s “High and Dry” to Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” (covered on The Pursuit — see video after the jump) to Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cries Mary”, along with the expected jazz vocal classics like “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
The new project continues Cullum’s freewheeling approach, encompassing reworked standards as well as original songs that tap into rock, R+B and even a dose of funk. New songs include “I Think I Love”, “Mixtape” and first single “I’m All Over It” along with a his own distinctive take on the classic “If I Ruled The World.” Says Jamie, “I find that when I take a standard…what I do is take half the chords out. To simplify it. To reduce it down to six chords.” Another new composition is “Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down”, a track written for new bride and model Sophie Dahl. It is, he says, “the first love song I’ve ever written without a joke in it. I wonder why.” Recommended.