Baby Blue Eyes

Thirty-year-old English singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum is the latest and greatest in a minirevival of the old blue-eyed crooner tradition. Think, perhaps, a hipper Michael Bublé, with an appreciation for hip-hop and an ability to marry supermodel Sophie Dahl. While Cullum’s originals are thoughtful, smooth, and flexible in genre, he truly surprises in reinterpreting other peoples’ songs. A rework of N.E.R.D.’s “Frontin’ ” turns into a dusky, wistful, piano-driven almost-ballad; a version of Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” sounds like an entirely new song. Jazz purists will likely choke on the horror. But even if it takes a photo-friendly English guy covering Top 40 songs, if it gets the under-40s dipping their toes into the genre’s waters, it can’t be a bad thing.
Mon., July 5, 7:30 p.m., 2010


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