Born in Essex, and raised in Wiltshire, Jamie Cullum was obsessed with all types of music from an early age: rock, hip-hop, acid jazz, blues. He discovered jazz as a teenager, via artists like Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis, but also showed an interest in the groundbreaking Steely Dan albums purchased by his brother Ben (who plays bass throughout Catching Tales). While studying English at college, he began working as a singer-pianist anywhere he could get a gig: on cruise ships, in pubs, even wedding receptions.
Here he crafted the explosive on-stage persona (captured on the 2004 DVD Live at Blenheim Palace) that would win him accolades in The New York Times and Variety in the years that followed. When Universal Classics & Jazz snatched up the rising talent in the spring of 2003, and sent him into the studio to make Twentysomething, he was ready for the rigors – and joys – that waited ahead.
With Catching Tales, Jamie Cullum continues to redefine where the parameters of pop, and jazz – indeed, all musical genres – are drawn. "At first I didn't think certain songs had a place in what I was doing with jazz, but I've realized that everything does, and that reaffirms my belief that jazz is the greatest platform to do whatever you want. People ask why I play jazz. It's because you can take it to so many different places. You can embrace dance music, rock, pop music, classical, funk, everything… And I touch on all those things in this record."