Album Review: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra – The Capitol Studio Sessions

By Maria Lubanovic, Copy Editor
[Decca; 2018]
Rating: 7/10

Key tracks: “My Baby Just Cares For Me”, “Me And My Shadow”, “This Bitter Earth”

Is there anything Jeff Goldblum can’t do? Because apparently, he is a pretty good jazz piano player and is even better at gathering people to sing with him. Though he graces the cover of this album, he is not the star, rather it’s the guests he got to collaborate with him, including Sarah Silverman, Haley Reinhart, Imelda May and incredible jazz trumpet player Till Brönner.

Read more: Album Review: Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference

Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra’s The Capitol Studios Sessions is all done completely live in front of an audience, letting Goldblum narrate and talk to the musicians. He seems so completely casual and comfortable behind the piano. His own style doesn’t draw attention to itself, but beautifully complements the other musicians. This is evident in tracks like “Don’t Mess With Mister T” and “Nostalgia In Times Square”, where his own band highlights great jazz drumming and saxophone techniques.

In tracks like “My Baby Just Cares For Me”, chemistry can be felt between the musicians. It’s fun to listen to Goldblum interact with the singers because they know just what they are doing: singing jazz with Jeff Goldblum. If that doesn’t determine success in life, what does? Haley Reinhart’s voice is beautiful, soulful and powerful, with every note seeming effortless. She sings on “My Baby Just Cares For Me” and “Gee Baby (Ain’t I Good To You)” with a true blues style.

Sometimes, a track will just be Jeff Goldblum introducing an artist. For example, “Jeff Introduces Sarah Silverman” is just him introducing and talking with her. It’s kind of funny and gives a little bit of a comedy element to the album, while simultaneously being charming. Silverman and Goldblum sing a gussied-up version of “Me And My Shadow” together, where they change the lyrics to be more modern. Jeff Goldblum is by no means the best singer in the world, but he sings with charisma and knows how to swing. Silverman compliments Brönner, playing trumpet “like a hot knife going through butter,” and Goldblum finishes the song by playing a little bit of Jurassic Park and growling like a dinosaur. It’s odd, yet heartwarming.

Overall, this album reeks of nostalgia, and would probably be a great gift for your grandparents this holiday season. The song choices are good and well-executed, and the live element keeps them exciting, especially when audiences applaud after a particularly well-done solo section. The way the performance is set up allows for musical highs and lows and gives a nice depth to the tracks. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the music and forget that it’s Jeff Goldblum at all.

Listen here:

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