Murnau, Jamie Cullum said, 2001 was the first time he ever played outside of the UK. For this reason alone, a special memory connects him with the Bavarian spot. Returning to the region two and a half years late is therefore a special celebration for him. You believe him, like everything he says and plays and presents in the Isarphilharmonie. Because even if the singer and pianist from Essex has become a fortysomething in the meantime, he has retained the boyish, cheerful immediacy on stage that made him go crazy years ago, first in clubs and then in concert halls.
shudder of emotion
Cullum offers perfection, a show worked out down to the last detail, from the suspense to the carefully portioned solos to the stimulating animations, and at the same time he manages not to let his experience seem routine at any moment. On the contrary: when he sits down at the piano and alone, in a voice that is both powerful and cracked, sings ravishingly sentimental “What A Difference Makes a Day”, which has been worn down over decades, a shiver of emotion goes through the hall. And when he makes the audience sing and jump up, whirling across the stage like a hip-hop youngster and cheering on his musicians, the room trembles with energy.
Over the course of almost two hours, Cullum packs a surprising number of different things into the programme, straight eighties pop and echoes of Afrobeat, gospel chorale and power clarinet swing in Carnegie Hall mode with a Goodman Krupa factor, a little rap and funk, but above all a lot of timeless soul-jazz and rocking entertainment with the obvious gesture of wanting to speak to an audience in general and its people in the Isarphilharmonie in particular. And this closeness, this exchange, this honesty give him the power of persuasion to intoxicate people with music for a concert.