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CD: Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

CD: Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

An all-star band to make us happy

Play it again, JeffSela Shiloni

Jeff Goldblum’s 2018 debut, Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra - The Capitol Studios Sessions, was one of the great surprises of last autumn, its infectious, feel-good vibe and self-deprecating retro pastiche as engaging as a favourite Hollywood movie on a grey day. And live at the Cadogan Hall Goldblum was a treat, a real-life Mr Nice Guy who was just so good and so funny.

I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This is a far more serious outing, by which I don’t mean dull and boring. Rather high-quality jazz that can stand tall and needs no apology. The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra – Goldblum on piano with Alex Frank on bass, John Storie on guitar, Joe Bagg on organ, Kenny Elliott on drums, James King on alto, tenor and baritone sax, and Scott Gilman on tenor – is joined by a stunning guest line-up including trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos and guitarist Anna Calvi, plus vocalists Sharon van Etten and Gina Saputo. Gregory Porter drops in too on the evergreen “Love is the Answer” from the Jule Styne/Comden and Green songbook.

I was hooked from the first notes of the deliciously insistent left-hand piano motif from Goldblum that ushers in “Let’s Face the Music And Dance”. A sultry Van Etten enters, singing over string bass and a hint of brushed cymbal. Very tight. Bagg’s swirling organ joins in and soon we’re away, everyone riffing. Fred and Ginger might not have wanted to dance to this but it’s utterly cool and compelling. Herbie Hancock’s “Driftin’” is a blast, terrific solos (sax, guitar and bass) and our man having such fun on the keys. They’re cooking! Lalo Schifrin’s “The Cat” is joyous.

These guys really swing, even on “Broken English”, the song that marked a comeback for Marianne Faithfull 40 years ago. Goldblum is a seriously good pianist and the arrangements (most of them by Bagg, Frank and Storie) are first rank. He’s not too bad a singer either – the album’s closing track finds him crooning a lullaby to his two toddler sons, “Little Man, You’ve Had a Busy Day”, the old Bing Crosby chestnut. It’s a surprisingly affecting close, the song dissolving dreamily in the night with guitar and brushed cymbals.

 

I was hooked from the first notes of the deliciously insistent left-hand piano motif from Goldblum that ushers in 'Let’s Face the Music And Dance'

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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