Jamie Cullum, "The Pursuit"

82 Billboard Rating

Genre-bending, piano-prancing singer/multi-instrumentalist Jamie Cullum's new album, "The Pursuit," is his first collection of songs to capture his energy-filled live shows on record. With a wide stylistic bandwidth that incorporates everything from hard-swinging big band to backbeat-style R&B, the set showcases Cullum's myriad talents, from fearless interpreter of other artists' material to songsmith and showman of formidable force. He swings with a bebopper's abandon on a cover of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things," then struts with retro-glam-meets-Leon-Russell grit on his own "I'm All Over It." Wearing a multitude of musical hats, he steps effortlessly among jazz, dance and intimate singer/songwriter fare. And while many artists sound anything but comfortable breaking these kinds of musical barriers, Cullum proves once again that he sounds most like himself when the walls come tumbling down.

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