Throughout November, timelines were occupied by Jamie Cullum, certainly no bad thing, but it made people curious to discover his new festive musical offering which was released back on November 20th.

Recently interviewed on BBC Breakfast, Jamie Cullum revealed his escapades over lockdown consisted of balancing home-schooling his kids and home-producing this Christmassy number – and what a ray of light this music brings after months of tumult.

Working on a festive collection in the height of summer must have been no easy feat, but that doesn’t mean The Pianoman At Christmas lacks the warmth of a winter’s fire and the heat of a strong glass of tipple – in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Traditional Christmas music doesn’t appease the pop-driven masses – it’s more about channelling the festive feeling which Cullum does in droves, and is why this album already feels like a modern classic.

As we’re hunkering down indoors, we all need a bit of The Pianoman in our lives. This jazz-based offering evokes exactly the right notes to kick-off the festive period in style.

Over half an hour, you’re taken on a journey.

The sheer passion that Cullum and his orchestra at Abbey Road invested to each piece showcase his compositions in a glowing light – your ears will compel you to hear more. 

Listen with headphones, and you’ll certainly feel jolly. Connect to a good-quality speaker, and even Scrooge wouldn’t be able to resist jamming along to the upbeat offerings of Hang Your Lights and Christmas Never Gets Old which perfectly contrast the more sombre tunes peppered throughout this album.

Its title track rightly sets the tone, but the greatest experience isn’t in his up-tempo beats and high-energy crowd-pleasers. Instead, the raw emotion behind Cullum’s voice in his humble offerings showcase exactly why jazz fits perfectly with the Christmas genre.

In a world that feels so wrong at the moment, this album just feels so right – the whole offering is like audible silk.

This festive period isn’t the same this year, but that doesn’t take the shine away from The Pianoman in the slightest – this album strangely makes life feel almost normal again.

As the charts fill up earlier than ever with songs of Christmas past, its timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Maybe Cullum’s jazz will be the reprieve we all need as we get into the swing of Christmas 2020.

4/5

 

Image: Island Records

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