Known for his quirky on-screen persona, Jeff Goldblum has brought to life some of the most iconic characters in cinema since the 1970s. Now, at 66, he is passionately exploring another of his talents with the release of his debut album The Capitol Studios Sessions on Decca Records.
Jeff Goldblum is known for roles in Hollywood blockbusters, a singular, chin-stroking comic persona and, more recently, as a fashion icon, but if he hadn’t explored his love for acting, he probably would have pursued a career as a jazz pianist. ‘I’m from Pittsburgh, and I played the piano when I was a kid,’ says Goldblum. ‘I got the idea to play out and about in cocktail lounges when I was, like, 15, and got a job or two.
‘These days, and for many years, I just hardly spend a day where I don’t pass a piano in my place and just play for as long as I can,’ he says.
Goldblum has been playing semi-regularly since the 1990s with a band he formed, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra (named after a family friend back in Pittsburgh). And, in more recent years, Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra have played a weekly residency in Los Angeles at The Rockwell Table and Stage – when he isn’t busy filming. Frequented by locals and A-listers alike, the weekly show intersperses Goldblum’s love of jazz with his passion and skills at improvised comedy.
The Capitol Studios Sessions, then, is long overdue and captures Goldblum and his band in their natural habitat – performing live. The atmosphere and energy of these shows is captured perfectly on this album, which Goldblum credits to producer Larry Klein (known for his work with Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and Madeleine Peyroux). For the recording, Klein recreated the buzz of The Rockwell at the legendary Capitol Studios. The studio was transformed into a jazz club – food and drink were served to an invited live studio audience of Rockwell regulars, friends and family.
This album lives in that magical area where artists and audiences meet. There is a joyful sense of anything-can-happen and a spirit of creative generosity in how Goldblum speaks to his fans, how he accompanies guest singers and soloists, and especially in how Goldblum comps. To Goldblum, his role within the context of a jazz band is a seamless connection with his acting.
To read more about The Capitol Studios Sessions’ song line-up and some of the best moments on the album, purchase your copy of our December 2018 / January 2019 issue for only R18! Or continue supporting the arts and culture sector by subscribing to our monthly Creative Feel magazine for R180 per year.