Being a jazz musician is a mixed blessing. You get to be cool, but, in return, you are expected to remain underappreciated and known only to a few musical cognoscenti. If you ever get to the point of being famous enough to be recognized outside a smoky jazz club, then you have basically blown it.
Since hitting the big time in 2003 with Twentysomething, an album of covers that made him the biggest selling UK jazz artist of all time, the 26-year-old singer and multi instrumentalist, has been labeled a "Sinatra in Sneakers" and "the David Beckham of Jazz." Comparisons with legendary crooner Frank Sinatra and the current captain of the England football team might not seem so negative, but the connotation of these terms is that Cullum is jazz-lite being packaged for a bunch of kids who know nothing about it, and, in the case of the Beckham comparison, superficial and overrated.