British singer, songwriter and pianist Jamie Cullum could have easily taken some well-earned time off in 2005. The 28-year-old’s Verve debut, Twenty something, was a worldwide smash last year, selling over two million copies and garnering a Grammy nomination. Raised in Wiltshire, Jamie Cullum was obsessed with all types of music from an early age. 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. 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. Universal Classics & Jazz snatched up the rising talent in the spring of 2003. “Catching Tales is a better representation of what I am and what I want to be as a musician. You can embrace dance music, rock, pop, classical, funk, everything…I touch on all those things in this record. The way I like to approach music is to mix things round and, fortunately, I like to mix it with things that people find a bit more familiar. I love pop music so I mix jazz and pop music. Not because I want to make it accessible but because it’s music that I enjoy. I guess I’ve just got an angle on it that people find a bit more interesting.”