Various (compiled by Jamie Cullum) - In The Mind Of Jamie Cullum

Jamie Cullum. He's perhaps the jazz equivalent of Jamie Oliver in that some people find his babyish face eminently slappable (not that we advocate violence at CD Times). One could accuse him of being jazz for Radio 2 listeners, for people who'd never subject their ears to Miles Davis' excesses. And didn't he do a crappy cover of Radiohead's High and Dry?

Anyway, In The Mind Of is his platform to compile some of his influences, and, actually, it's rather good. Who'd have thunk Jamie would have a soft spot for drum 'n' bass (Roni Size) and Brit hip-hop's most commanding voice, Roots Manuva (guesting with Cinematic Orchestra on All things to all men)? Actually, what we have here is a trove of illuminating, varied and nicely sequenced picks; from Laurent Garnier (dance) through Charles Mingus (jazz great) to Elbow (intelligent Brit rock). Even if sombre choral pieces aren't your thing, you'd have to admit Polyphony's Sleep makes for a decent ending.

Unsurprisingly, the two exclusive Jamie Cullum recordings are amongst the most skippable inclusions, but much of the rest is captivating. Another case of an artist's influences being more fascinating than the artist, this is a journey worth taking.

Overall

7

out of 10

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