On this episode of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass, host Brian Zimmerman engages in a frank and wide-ranging discussion with pianist and vocalist Jamie Cullum, the best selling U.K. jazz artist of all time. It has been five years since the release of Jamie’s previous album, Interlude, and nearly 20 since the release of his first recording, Heard It All Before, for which he pressed just 500 copies. Now he’s out with a brand new record called Taller. It was released June 7 on Blue Note Records, and in many ways, it’s stylistic reinvention for the 39-year-old Grammy-nominated musician, fusing genres from his past and carrying with it a deeply personal message.
Cullum said the title came from an aspect of his relationship with his wife, the actress and writer Sophie Dahl. Cullum stands about 5 feet 5 inches; his wife is 6 feet tall. The title track of the album is all about measuring up emotionally and intellectually and how real stature has nothing to do with height at all. Thematically, the disc is far-reaching yet profoundly deep, with songs touching on social media, Brexit and the anxiety inherent in all creative projects.
JAZZIZ spoke to Jamie via telephone while he was in London. And like all good Londoners, we pick up the conversation talking about — what else? — the weather.