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Jamie Cullum - Catching Tales

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Catching Tales

Jamie Cullum

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British pianist/vocalist Jamie Cullum's previous effort, Twentysomething, was an uncomplicated mix of piano-driven melodic pop with a jazzy twist and some reworked jazz standards. 2005's Catching Tales follows a similar format but falls short of its predecessor's simple approach by muddying up the production with dated electronic flourishes. Which isn't to say it's a bad album. On the contrary, despite some ill-advised attempts at would-be-hip DJ-style tracks, Catching Tales features more of Cullum's superb songwriting. Essentially a singer/songwriter in the tradition of such icons as Billy Joel and Randy Newman, Cullum is at his best when performing simple melodic songs with some jazz harmony that make the most of his burnished croon and verbal wit. To these ends, the beautifully melancholy "London Skies" brings to mind Joe Jackson covering a Radiohead song. Similarly, the romantic and folky "Photograph" reveals the often sardonically snotty Cullum to be a top-notch balladeer. It's also at these soft rock moments, when he isn't attempting to gun down the jazz canon, that Cullum's improvisation sounds the best. Also impressive is his mid-tempo swing-cum-soul track "Nothing I Do," which marries Harry Connick, Jr.'s neo-croon to Stevie Wonder's R&B harmonies. If Cullum's only attempt at contemporary hipness was his inspired cover version of the Doves' "Catch the Sun," the album would be a rousing success. Unfortunately though, Cullum's expansive vision finds him collaborating with Dan the Automator on the leadoff track, "Get Your Way." What may have been an attempt to try something new ultimately sounds more like early-'90s hip-hop jazz à la Digable Planets replete with scratchy vinyl record sound and canned beat. Also disappointing is his reworking of the Harry Warren classic "I Only Have Eyes for You," which, while an attempt at a Massive Attack-style trip-hop track, sounds more like U2's equally atrocious 1990 Cole Porter redo "Night and Day." However, when Cullum sticks to his piano and a good melody Catching Tales actually bests Twentysomething and easily shakes the "new-jazz" tag he has been working against.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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Catching Tales

Jamie Cullum

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1
Get Your Way Album Version
00:04:00

Stewart Levine, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - JAMES GADSON, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Allen Toussaint, ComposerLyricist - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Moog Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAN THE AUTOMATOR, Producer, Co-Producer - Dan Nakamura, Programmer, Drum Track, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Merlo Podlewski, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - John Heard, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz, 2930

2
London Skies
00:03:42

Stewart Levine, Producer - Ian Thomas, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guy Chambers, ComposerLyricist - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gascoyne, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Cullum, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Xylophone, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sebastiaan de Krom, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

3
Photograph
00:05:46

Stewart Levine, Producer - Ian Thomas, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Cullum, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Percussion, Piano, Electro-Acoustic Realization, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

4
I Only Have Eyes For You
00:03:58

Stewart Levine, Producer - Ian Thomas, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - AL DUBIN, ComposerLyricist - Harry Warren, ComposerLyricist - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Cullum, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Programmer, Drum Track, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

5
Nothing I Do
00:05:02

Stewart Levine, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gascoyne, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Hammond Organ, Piano, Drum Track, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sebastiaan de Krom, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

6
Mind Trick
00:04:04

Stewart Levine, Producer - Ian Thomas, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Terri Walker, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Cullum, Electric Bass, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sebastiaan de Krom, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer - Isabella Cannell, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Priest, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Emms, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

7
21st Century Kid
00:03:59

Stewart Levine, Producer - Ian Thomas, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Cullum, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Additional Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

8
I'm Glad There Is You
00:04:09

Stewart Levine, Producer - London Session Orchestra, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gascoyne, String Arranger, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jimmy Dorsey, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mertz, ComposerLyricist - Sebastiaan de Krom, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

9
Oh God
00:03:38

Stewart Levine, Producer - London Session Orchestra, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guy Chambers, ComposerLyricist - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gascoyne, String Arranger, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alan Barnes, Alto Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Sebastiaan de Krom, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

10
Catch The Sun
00:03:45

Stewart Levine, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gascoyne, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sebastiaan de Krom, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer - Andrew Sebastian Williams, ComposerLyricist - Jamie Francis Alexander Goodwin, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Francis Williams, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

11
7 Days To Change Your Life
00:05:36

Stewart Levine, Producer - London Session Orchestra, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gascoyne, String Arranger, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sebastiaan de Krom, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

12
Our Day Will Come
00:03:55

Stewart Levine, Producer - Mort Garson, ComposerLyricist - Ian Thomas, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Hilliard, ComposerLyricist - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gascoyne, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Cullum, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Piano, Programmer, Drum Track, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sebastiaan de Krom, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

13
Back To The Ground
00:04:36

Stewart Levine, Producer - Ian Thomas, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Cullum, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Additional Keyboards, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ed Harcourt, ComposerLyricist - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

14
Fascinating Rhythm
00:04:48

Stewart Levine, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - George Gershwin, ComposerLyricist - Ira Gershwin, ComposerLyricist - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gascoyne, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jamie Cullum, Piano, Sound Effects, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sebastiaan de Krom, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

15
My Yard
00:04:09

Teron Beal, ComposerLyricist - Stewart Levine, Producer - Ian Thomas, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rik Pekkonen, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Tyo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Woodcraft, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Cullum, Vocals, Vocal Arranger, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jamie Cullum, Guitar, Additional Keyboards, Drum Track, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alan Bates, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2005 Universal Classics & Jazz

Album Description

British pianist/vocalist Jamie Cullum's previous effort, Twentysomething, was an uncomplicated mix of piano-driven melodic pop with a jazzy twist and some reworked jazz standards. 2005's Catching Tales follows a similar format but falls short of its predecessor's simple approach by muddying up the production with dated electronic flourishes. Which isn't to say it's a bad album. On the contrary, despite some ill-advised attempts at would-be-hip DJ-style tracks, Catching Tales features more of Cullum's superb songwriting. Essentially a singer/songwriter in the tradition of such icons as Billy Joel and Randy Newman, Cullum is at his best when performing simple melodic songs with some jazz harmony that make the most of his burnished croon and verbal wit. To these ends, the beautifully melancholy "London Skies" brings to mind Joe Jackson covering a Radiohead song. Similarly, the romantic and folky "Photograph" reveals the often sardonically snotty Cullum to be a top-notch balladeer. It's also at these soft rock moments, when he isn't attempting to gun down the jazz canon, that Cullum's improvisation sounds the best. Also impressive is his mid-tempo swing-cum-soul track "Nothing I Do," which marries Harry Connick, Jr.'s neo-croon to Stevie Wonder's R&B harmonies. If Cullum's only attempt at contemporary hipness was his inspired cover version of the Doves' "Catch the Sun," the album would be a rousing success. Unfortunately though, Cullum's expansive vision finds him collaborating with Dan the Automator on the leadoff track, "Get Your Way." What may have been an attempt to try something new ultimately sounds more like early-'90s hip-hop jazz à la Digable Planets replete with scratchy vinyl record sound and canned beat. Also disappointing is his reworking of the Harry Warren classic "I Only Have Eyes for You," which, while an attempt at a Massive Attack-style trip-hop track, sounds more like U2's equally atrocious 1990 Cole Porter redo "Night and Day." However, when Cullum sticks to his piano and a good melody Catching Tales actually bests Twentysomething and easily shakes the "new-jazz" tag he has been working against.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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