Okay, so the boat thing didnt happen. The frog said he wanted to leave this week, I told him I would look into travel options and whatnot and call him monday, it actually seemed like it was going to happen, and... his number was out of service. Must have gone back to frogland. Oh well.
The point of this post is really to express my admiration for the musical genius that is Jamie Cullum. A friend introduced me to him in high school after his first US release- Twentysomething. I was instantly enamored with his sound, he showed songs that I already knew from a totally different angle, and his originals sucked me in with their catchy melodies and jazzy beats. He does covers that you would never expect, like Pharell's rap crappin hip hoppin "Frontin", and totally spins it, jazzes it up, and turns it into something that is good, no, great. Twentysomething contains covers of some songs of today, like the aforementioned "Frontin" and Radiohead's "High and Dry", but also adds a little pop to some songs from the past, like Frank Sinatra's "I Get a Kick Out of You" and the classic "Singin' in the Rain". Twentysomething is not even why I am writing this, I should move on.
A couple of years after Twentysomething's release, the pending release of his second album "Catching Tales" got me excited, though I was skeptical that it could get any better than Twentysomething. The release of the first single "London Skies" fueled my concern that I would be dissapointed my the album, and upon its full release my concern was confirmed. Now dont get me wrong, the music is great, I still love it and many say it was an improvement, it just wasn't for me, didnt suck me in, lost some of the jazz i think. Just after the release I went to see Jamie play to a sold out Byham Theatre in Pittsburgh and he was incredible, full of energy, it was amazing to see the genius just oozing out of him on stage. Any doubt I had was gone. Then there was nothing for 4 years except little updates that he was working on some things, a rogue show now and then, some radio interviews, and a pretty sweet collaboration with Clint Eastwood on Gran Torino which got him a Golden Gldobe nomination for best original composition. He finally announced the release of his new album "The Pursuit" and went on tour, one stop being New York's Carnegie Hall, which I attended and it was awesome, just got me more excited for the new album.
Afraid that Jamie's music was headed in the wrong direction for me, The Pursuit had potential to turn me into one of those snooty "I like his old stuff" people. The first single "I'm All Over It" was released a couple weeks ago... I am so happy. It brought back all the excitement and drew me in just like Twentysomething did. He released the video which is crazy cool, and then, in accordance with his obsession with twitter, did a live video broadcast for his twitter followers. The broadcast is probably the best example of just how good he is at what he does. When an album is released it could be the product of so many alterations and polishing that it sounds nothing like the original recording. Jamie doesn't need polishing, and he proves it. Twentysomething was recorded and mixed on analog tape, meaning almost straight from the instruments and his voice to print, and this live twitter show is another example. Jamie sets up a mic and a webcam in his kitchen, and in perhaps the most informal situation possible, cranks out some damn good music, this might be more impressive than anything else I could show you, a recording some girl from Singapore did of her laptop playing the show Jamie did in his kitchen, broadcasting over twitter, watch it, really. In the broadcast he asked for requests, saying that he is sure that some people have gotten ahold of the new album even though it is not to be released until next year... which fueled me in a search through the dark alleys of the internet, which turned out to be pretty easy, and I am now listening to the full album. In all of its glory. Jamie has done it again, injected the new and old with his jazzy flavor while continuing to progress his style, produced some originals that will be played over and over, and created an album that could appeal to you, your grandma, the stinky guy at work, and most importantly, me. Thanks Jamie. You rule.