Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra
A gifted and much celebrated actor, Jeff Goldblum has also distinguished himself away from the big screen as a sophisticated jazz pianist. Known for his starring roles in films like The Big Chill, Independence Day, and Jurassic Park, Goldblum has also built a following playing regularly with his ensemble the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. In 2018, he released his debut full-length album, The Capitol Studio Sessions. Born in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Homestead, Pennsylvania in 1952, Goldblum grew up in a Jewish family of Russian and Austrian descent. Interested in performing at a young age, he moved to New York at age 17 to pursue acting and studied at the acclaimed Neighborhood Playhouse with noted acting coach Sanford Meisner. After making his Broadway debut in the 1971 Tony Award-winning musical Two Gentlemen of Verona, Goldblum moved into television and film work, appearing first as a thug in the 1974 Charles Bronson action flick Death Wish, as well as small but well-received roles in Nashville, Annie Hall, and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. His breakout roles came in 1983's The Big Chill and 1986's The Fly, after which he solidified his reputation as a box office star with his roles in 1993's Jurassic Park, and 1996's Independence Day. He has taken roles in critically lauded smaller films like 2002's Igby Goes Down, 2004's A Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and big-budget titles like Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok. Along with acting, Goldblum has also pursued his love of music. He first started out on piano as a child. By his teens, he was playing shows, a sideline he continued to nurture alongside his acting career. In the '90s, he joined with musician and producer John Mastro to form the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra (purportedly borrowing the name from a family friend in Pittsburgh). For over 20 years, the pianist and his band have worked regularly around Los Angeles. In 2014, they also launched a weekly residency at New York's Carlyle Hotel. In 2018, Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra released their debut studio album, The Capitol Studio Sessions, on Decca Records. Included were guest spots from trumpeter Till Brönner, and singers Imelda May, Haley Reinhart, and Sarah Silverman. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. A year later, he issued another star-studded sophomore album, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This, which featured guest appearances from Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten, Anna Calvi, and others.
© Matt Collar /TiVo
© Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 9, 2018 | Decca (UMO)
If there's one word that comes to mind while listening to 2018's The Capitol Studio Sessions -- the debut album from part-time jazz pianist and full-time Jeff Goldblum impersonator Jeff Goldblum -- it's charm. Joking aside, just as with his acting, Goldblum's musical stage presence percolates with his unmistakable charisma, and further cements his long-standing persona as a witty, quirky, gregarious presence. While the album often feels like Goldblum giving one big wink and a smile to his adoring fans after another, part of the fun is that he has the chops to back it up. Having studied piano growing up in Pittsburgh and played lounge gigs throughout much of his career, Goldblum is certainly a gifted performer. While he hands much of the improvisational work over to his bandmates, as a bandleader he acquits himself ably throughout the album, with a warm harmonic sensibility and wonderfully swinging style on full display. Here, he is captured live at the storied Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, backed by his longtime ensemble of studio-pros the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra (lovingly named after a family friend in Pittsburgh). Joining him are a select cadre of special guests including singers Haley Reinhart and Imelda May, trumpeter Till Bronner, and on the giddy, self-referential duet "Me and My Shadow," singer/comedian Sarah Silverman. While Goldblum is the main attraction, he smartly spreads the spotlight, allowing Reinhart and May to sashay their ways through saucy renditions of "My Baby Just Cares For Me," "Straighten Up and Fly Right," and "Come-On-A-My-House." Similarly, he gives Bronner a plethora of solo time, with tracks like the ballad "It Never Entered My Mind," and the organ-accented groover "Don't Mess with Mister T.” One of the many impressive aspects of the Capitol Studio Sessions is just how balanced Goldblum's skills are as he deftly moves his audience from perky vocal standards to swinging instrumental numbers -- each transition aided, of course, with some very charming stage banter. © Matt Collar /TiVo