This week, let's take a look at three clips featuring pianist and singer Jamie Cullum, who will be in St. Louis next Sunday, March 14 to perform at the Roberts Orpheum Theatre.
Though he writes a lot of his own material, Cullum's performances and recordings also incorporate cover versions of standards and contemporary songs, and that's the theme uniting today's videos.
Up above, you'll see him doing a fairly straightforward take on What A Difference A Day Made," a song famously recorded by Dinah Washington and subsequently cut by many others in a variety of styles, including a Tex-Mex version from Freddy Fender and a disco remake that was a hit record for Esther Phillips.
Down below, the second clip features Cullum's version of pop/rock/hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams' song Frontin'". It's definitely a departure from the original, and it's interesting to hear and contemplate what elements are common to both and what's been added and subtracted.
The third and final clip is brand new online, having been recorded just this past Wednesday, March 3 at Joe's Pub in New York. It shows Cullum venturing out into the audience to sing I Get A Kick Out Of You" without a mic and accompanied only by bassist Chris Hill. It's a nervy move, and, to his credit, Cullum pulls it off nicely, even tossing in a bit of scat singing near the end. The video's a little dark, but the audio quality is surprisingly good, and it's always fun to see these sort of spontaneous moments show up online.
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!