Greeting’s jazz enthusiasts, March arrives with a seasoned mix of noteworthy new releases this week. Consider this, vocalist/pianist Jamie Cullum (Album of the Week), the versatile Dee Dee Bridgewater sings a tribute to Billie Holiday, pianist Bob Mament returns, also guitarist Chris Standring is back in stride, the legendary Ella sings from the “The Cole Porter Songbook,” the fascinating Junior Mance is here and finally The Souljazz Orchestra appears with tasty new vinyl titled “Rising Sun.” —Rob Young
Featured Album of the Week
Jamie Cullum | The Pursuit – [Verve, 2010] – Album of the Week!
Jamie Cullum - The Pursuit
Like the exploding piano on its cover, Jamie Cullum’s long-awaited new Verve album The Pursuit blows away audience and artist preconceptions leaving 14 smoldering tracks that seamlessly run the gamut from swinging standards and yearning singer-songwriter confessionals to 125 BPM house dance tracks and resurrected Broadway ballads.
“It was the right time for me to take myself out of my comfort zone, and to push myself to be bolder,” Cullum says of the album “I wanted to build on the things I’ve already done, but I also wanted to reinvent myself.”
The Pursuit – the English singer/songwriter/pianist/multi-instrumentalist’s third Verve album, and his first in four years – is an expansive labor of love that embraces the full range of the artist’s diverse talents and far-flung musical passions. While it covers more stylistic ground than anything he’s done previously, The Pursuit’s unifying threads are the same musical fluency, emotional commitment and lyrical wit that helped to make Cullum’s prior releases Twentysomething and Catching Tales international crossover smashes selling more than 4 million combined copies worldwide.