sun 18/11/2018

CD: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra - The Capitol Studios Sessions | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra - The Capitol Studios Sessions

CD: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra - The Capitol Studios Sessions

A screen icon plays some serious jazz

Goldblum raided his father's jazz collection

Wow, this is truly infectious! Feel-good music played so well and by a guy whose day job is as an actor. And not a bit-part player – this is the man who gave us David Levinson in Independence Day and Dr Iain Malcolm in Jurassic Park and who made his screen debut with Charles Bronson in Death Wish. He also had a cameo in Annie Hall, one of the most beloved of movies by another part-time jazz man. “I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to be Free)” is a nice nod to what is now a dual career.

Take a bow Jeff Goldblum who, with a little help from friends Imelda May, Haley Reinhart, Sarah Silverman and Grammy-winning trumpeter Till Bronner, transports us into a chic cabaret club for an evening with Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. Goldblum leads from the piano throughout, engaging in jokes and banter with his fellow performers, in a live set recorded in Studios A and B at Capitol Records in LA. He’s headed to London this month for gigs – though commuters passing through St Pancras one day in early September were offered a sneak preview, Goldblum playing Elton John’s piano. Don’t think for a moment this album is just a rich man’s divertissement. Goldblum is a highly accomplished pianist who had lessons as a child and soon discovered the fun of syncopated rhythms and all that jazz from records in his father’s collection. From an early age, he was playing in clubs, one or other parent providing a taxi service for their precocious boy. A duet with Gregory Porter on the Nat King Cole Classic “Mona Lisa” on UK TV led to the offer of an album…. And here it is, the band named after an old family friend. Maybe he’ll give up the day job.

Larry Klein is the producer and he ought to be pleased with Goldblum’s opening number, “Cantaloupe Island”, by Herbie Hancock, one of his many celebrated artists. The Duke would surely love “Caravan”, which bowls along briskly, Kenny Elliot’s drums, Joe Bagg’s Hammond and Alex Frank’s slapped bass coalescing nicely beneath James King on sax and Bronner on trumpet, Goldblum of course sitting in Ellington’s seat. Imelda May puts her stamp on “This Bitter Earth”, a 1960 hit for Dinah Washington, and "Come On-a-My House" while Haley Reinhart tips her hat to Nina Simone on “My Baby Just Cares for Me”. The verbal knockabout between Goldblum and comedian Sarah Silverman works well, Silverman at times channelling Edith Bunker as she trades ad-libbed lines with the piano man. Charles Mingus’ “Nostalgia in Times Square” is very cool.

Barry Norman would surely approve.

Liz Thomson's website

 

Don’t think for a moment this album is just a rich man’s divertissement. Goldblum is a highly accomplished pianist

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Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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