All That Jazz

Written by Declan Cashin

Forget the model wife, the wild parties and the film star pals, Jamie Cullum tells Declan Cashin why it’s all about the music . . .

I’m a commodity today,” says Jamie Cullum, smiling, as he scoffs a banana and a cappuccino in a recording studio in west London early on a Monday morning.

It’s the start of a hectic day of contractual promotional duties for his new album – his sixth – Momentum, but he’s used to powering on through exhaustion at this point, what with a newborn baby at home (Margot, born in March) and a toddler (Lyra, two) running rings around him and his wife – model and food writer Sophie Dahl.

“It’s insane,” he laughs. “I haven’t quite got to the Red Bull stage yet. But, by this afternoon … “

He’s being facetious, of course, because Cullum is one performer who has never been short (ahem) on energy. His live performances are well-known and cherished for his jig-acting on stage and for his magpie approach to music, introducing covers of pop hits in between the more jazzy, big band, “Sinatra in sneakers” tunes that made him famous to begin with.

Cullum claims, though, to have never watched any clips of himself on YouTube. Nor, for that matter, does he listen to any of his old albums.

“I think some fans have a pretty rough ride with me,” he says sheepishly.

“When something new of mine comes out, they’re waiting for it and have been living with my last album, and they’ll think maybe it will sound like the last one. And, of course, it doesn’t. But I think my fans do catch up and, God bless them, they do stick with me.”

True to form, Momentum is a different beast that experiments further with styles and sounds, borne of a time that the still-boyish-looking 33-year-old says was “a crossover period” from his wild youth to his more mature thirties.

Read in full here.

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