The Artistry of… Jamie Cullum

He brings an energy to jazz that says, “You’ve got to check this out.” Whether it is his own music that is always a must-listen, or when he is presenting a new up-and-coming artist in the genre, the excitement about the music is infectious.

In performance, the respect he has for those who have come before is obvious. But then he takes it to another level. He is what happens when you get one of the answers to questions like, “What is jazz like now?” He comes with the brilliance of pop-star frenetics and has an enviable connection with his audience, both as performer and broadcaster.

On the radio, he is a dynamic jazz artist’s — and jazz’s — best friend. It’s a musical high, a just-off-the-ground sensibility, from start to finish. He has worked hard, and the spoils are rich and lit right up. In so many ways, he is the personification of that friend who had a record collection, or who always seemed to have the latest or the next release before anyone else and had you over to check it out.

Cullum’s 2003 album Twentysomething speaks to cross-generational reach, and his jazz spirit might well be in the words of The Beatles’ Revolution and Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds: “Everything’s gonna be alright!”

The Artistry of… airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.