Award winning broadcaster, song-writer and celebrated musician Jamie Cullum this week releases ‘Interlude’, the jazz album featuring Laura Mvula and Gregory Porter in the UK through Island Records. To celebrate the release, Jamie has today unveiled a video for ‘Good Morning Heartbreak’ the stunning duet from the album featuring Laura Mvula, which was recorded in Jamie’s studio. Watch it here:
Jamie also recently performed lead single, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’, featuring Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist and songwriter, Gregory Porter on last week’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Jamie Cullum’s musical taste is eclectic to say the least. His live reputation is well deserved and his sold out concerts pluck from the widest musical spectrum, from heartbreaking ballads through to live sampling and beat boxing. His recordings have been equally diverse, and most recently Jamie can be heard guesting on albums by Labrinth, Rizzle Kicks, Birdy and alternative hip hop supergroup Deltron 3030. This is a man confident in his own musical skin. But let’s not forget, Jamie is the UK’s best selling jazz artist, ever. His radio show is the most listened to jazz broadcast in all of Europe and on ‘Interlude’ it is into his love of jazz he dives. This new album is a collection of twelve tracks, cribbed (mostly) from the earliest days of jazz, recorded simply in one room, with incredible musicians, like it used to be.
In his own words, from a tour bus between summer festivals, Jamie says,“When I finished my last album, Momentum, I’d started to get into the habit of immediately starting work on something new. I was renegotiating my record deal and not sure of what was going to happen next. My jazz show for BBC Radio 2 in the meantime was three years old and through that I’d been meeting some amazing people.
I was well acquainted with the British jazz scene but only through the show did I get the chance to sit in a room to chat specifics with some of the leading lights of this vibrant community. One of the people I met was Ben Lamdin, a producer who works under the name of Nostalgia 77.
Ben and I are about the same age. We both grew up listening widely, from rock, drum n’ bass to hip hop and discovered jazz through acts like DJ Shadow and A Tribe Called Quest. Loving jazz the way it used to sound and fascinated by the way it used to be recorded Ben set to work in this amazing analogue studio behind a fish market in Willesden, North London. Surrounding himself with like minded musicians he’s been going in there and making these fantastic records for about 10 years. I have been a fan since day one.
After the interview we decided that we should collaborate and with little hesitation booked three days in the studio, booked musicians and worked on arrangements with Nostalgia 77’s bass player Riaan Vosloo. A few weeks later on a cold January morning we walked in and recorded the whole thing, live in just a handful of takes, often using the first ones – 16 tracks in three days.
Ben and I really tried to avoid more obvious jazz standard choices. It wasn’t so hard – Ben and I are both crate diggers so we approached the repertoire choice and arrangement references from that point of view. We recorded to analogue tape, purposefully using the sound of the room with a roughness-around-the-edges. I then decided to add a couple of duets with two of the people I’d discovered on my radio show: Laura Mvula and Gregory Porter both of whom got their first plays on my show.
So that’s my Interlude. It’s very much something that was recorded in a celebratory way – a celebration of people I’ve met through doing the radio show. Of young British, under-the-radar, shit-hot jazz musicians, those corners of the music that all of us who gathered behind the old fish market love so much. It’s a true collaboration.
I’ve realised that when you meet the right people and the right studio, you can go and do these records like they were meant to be made. With a huge amount of spontaneity and an enormous amount of expertise – and a massive amount of enjoyment. We wanted to make records like they used to. And I think we’ve done that.”
The ‘Interlude’ album has also enabled Jamie to pursue another passion, that of photography. Jamie has long been a keen amateur when it comes to capturing a moment in time, and when considering artwork for the album, Jamie turned to his photographer friend Michael Agel of Leica for help. Cameras in hand they took advantage of his recent US tour to develop Jamie’s skills behind the lens, taking shots of the people and places he encountered along the way, and Micheal capturing Jamie, both off and on stage. “I have been fascinated by photography since rescuing my mum’s old camera from the attic as a child. It has been such a privilege to work with Michael and Leica and to share my own photos alongside the new music” The resulting images can be seen on the front cover of Interlude and in an exclusive photo booklet included in the deluxe version of the album.
2. Don’t You Know
3. Seers Tower
5. Good Morning Heartache (Feat. Laura Mvula)
6. Sack O Woe
7. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (feat. Gregory Porter)
8. My One And Only Love
9. Lovesick Blues
10. Losing You
11. Out Of This World
12. Make Someone Happy
DVD Live at Jazz a Vienne festival:
1. The Same Things
2. Get Your Way
3. Sack O’ Woe
5. Seers Tower
6. When I Get Famous
8. Pure Imagination
9. Lovesick Blues
10. Don’t You Know
11. Don’t Stop The Music
12. All At Sea
13. High And Dry
14. Losing You
15. You And Me Are Gone
17. Gran Torino