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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.

“I like that this album journeys from a big-band track at the start to a proggy house/dance track at the end, because it’s all me” Cullum notes. “But if the only thing that people notice is that this album is stylistically all over the place, then I will feel I have failed in some way.”

The Pursuit features nine Cullum originals and five cover songs that showcase the Grammy® and Golden Globe nominated entertainer’s unique voice and iconoclastic interpretive skills. The self-penned gems include the buoyant first single “I’m All Over It,” the cheerfully apocalyptic “Wheels,” the animated swing of “You and Me Are Gone,” Cullum’s love song to music “Mixtape” and his love song to love “Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down.” Elsewhere on the album, Cullum reinvents 1930s jazz standards (Cole Porter’s “Just One Of Those Things” and “Love For Sale”), brings the dance floor into the bedroom (Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop The Music”) and cleans the pancake off the Great White Way (Leslie Bricusse’s “If I Ruled the World” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Not While I’m Around”).

New Music Releases

At your leisure, please view the extended list of New Releases @ Amazon.com

-))- The Pursuit [CD / DVD] [Deluxe Edition] by Jamie Cullum
-))- Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee by Dee Dee Bridgewater
-))- Impromptu by Bob Mamet
-))- Blue Bolero by Chris Standring
-))- Sings the Cole Porter Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald
-))- Peepers by Polar Bear
-))- Free At Last by Tobias Gebb and Unit 7
-))- Senor 007 by Ray Barretto
-))- Dreamers by The Hipstones
-))- New Album by Karel Boehlee Trio
-))- It’s Only Love by Tania Maria & Her Bigband
-))- Out South by Junior Mance Quintet
-))- No Apologies by John Basile
-))- Rising Sun by The Souljazz Orchestra

..:: Source: Amazon.com ::..