Jamie Cullen – In The Mind Of

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Music Review by Neil Sadler

Jamie Cullum looks like a pop star but is essentially a jazz artist although in rather a loose sense – the same loose way that il Divo are an opera act and Shayne Ward is talented.

This glimpse into his musical mind shows some of the influences on his music as well as presenting two exclusive new tracks by Jamie Cullum himself.

It is a diverse collection, spanning jazz tracks from the likes of Charlie Mingus and Nina Simone to dance, rap and garage. It is easy to see the influence of the jazz on Cullum’s work and the jazz tracks here are less self indulgent than some of the tracks he could have picked for the artists. It is less easy to spot the world and dance music influences when Cullum himself seems to choose easy ground as is illustrated in his very ordinary new tracks.

There are some unusual things in Jamie Cullum’s mind. The last track by Polyphony and Stephen Lawton is a choral track and seems destined for a film soundtrack. Others like Laurent Garnier’s Acid Eiffel are superior ambient dance. Throughout there are some fine jazz and jazz influenced hip-hop and even little nods to old and new indie artists.

This is an interesting compilation and although some of the artists are familiar, most of the tracks aren’t. If you love a mixture of music and you are able to cope with all the different styles that are here, I suspect you will really enjoy the mix of speeds and styles. I suspect however that the tracks you play least will be Jamie Cullum’s own tracks and that probably wasn’t the idea.

3 stars