Verve Records is very excited to announce the release of Jamie Cullum’s first solo record in four years. The record is called The Pursuit and is being released March 2, 2010. It’s Cullum’s fifth record in a genre-defying career that has entertained an ever-growing fanbase across the globe since his first Verve record was released in 2002. The title of the record is taken from Nancy Milford’s classic novel, The Pursuit of Love, and the songs on it are wonderfully eclectic as always, mixing modern influences with his love of jazz and timeless standards. No one can move from Cole Porter to Rhianna to Aphex Twin as boldly and deftly as Cullum does on The Pursuit.
The making of The Pursuit was a marathon not a sprint. Having decided to take time off after two years touring 2005’s Catching Tales and the juggernaut of praise and press that followed the previous album, 2003’s Twentysomething, Cullum turned to other projects. “I took a whole year off,” he says, “I played in other people’s bands and worked with other artists, I DJ’d, made dance music with my brother and traveled.” During this time he also built his own studio and earned himself a Golden Globe nomination for his co-write with Clint Eastwood of the title song for the film Gran Torino.
All the songs on The Pursuit began life at his studio as well as in his kitchen before recording moved to Los Angeles for three months over the summer of 2008. While work there with producer and long-time associate Greg Wells proved productive, some of the work from the kitchen made it to the final product. Recording in LA meant changing the techniques and routines Cullum had developed on his previous records. “I didn’t want to make this album with my old band or my old producer,” he says, “I needed to frighten myself.” While many of the songs were put together by Wells and Cullum in the studio, a selection of stellar talent contributed their musicianship. Members of Beck’s band joined the sessions while the horn section that played on Michael Jackson’s Thriller also appear. “Getting out of your comfort zone is such a cliché for your third or fourth album,” he says sincerely, “But, you know, it really worked.”
Ten years on from his first self-funded release, Heard It All Before, Cullum is still pursuing new sounds and new ideas in his music. “We’ve had a lot of musicians who’ve arrived fully formed. When I made my first record it was a stab in the dark, something to sell at my wedding gigs.”
“I think I’ve come close to fully realizing what I should be with this record. I didn’t know who I wanted to be when I was 19,” he says.