Full of charm and his signature quirkiness, actor Jeff Goldblum appeals to audiences of any generation. Whether he is taking down aliens in “Independence Day” (1996), running from dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” (1993) or manipulating intergalactic lifeforms in “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017), he has proven himself to be a master of entertainment.
Despite his mainstream recognition in major Hollywood blockbusters, many people may not be aware that Goldblum also dabbles in music. It was during the 1990s that he started playing piano in Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra — a jazz group whose 2018 release “The Capitol Studios Sessions” was a massive success and reached number one on the Billboard jazz album chart during the week of its release.
Fans of both Goldblum and jazz ought to be excited with the release of “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This,” — the band’s second studio album, which was released Nov. 1. The album consists mainly of collaborations and duets with many featured artists including Miley Cyrus, Fiona Apple and Gregory Porter.
Jazz holds the power to take one back to simpler times — like the days before technology controlled people’s lives. It also has the ability to set one at ease through the range of diverse instrumentals and clean and clear vocal performances. This album demonstrates those powers of jazz and exemplifies Goldblum as a jack of all trades in entertainment.
Something that surprised me about the track list was Cyrus singing jazz music. The inclusion of her on the album prompted a double-take on my part. My doubts were quickly withdrawn due to her voice blending perfectly with the beats of the orchestra during her feature in “The Thrill Is Gone/Django” — which exhibits her versatility with smooth and powerful vocals.
I was also impressed with the other featured artists in the album. Apple has a mesmerizing vibrato to her voice on the track “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me.” I was introduced to Porter’s voice in “Make Someone Happy,” which carried enthralling power and soul.
An easy complaint about this album is the near complete absence of Goldblum’s signature warm and infectious voice throughout. In fact, there is only one track where his voice is the centerpiece — the concluding track, “Little Man You’ve Had a Busy Day.” His voice throughout the track is smooth and calming, similar to his normal speaking voice. It almost feels like he’s bent down, singing a lullaby to you after a long day of work.
Despite the lack of Goldblum’s vocals, he was still able to display his personality with his vibrant piano playing throughout the album. He demonstrates this through the song “Driftin,” where, even without lyrics, his tender touch on the grand piano was unwaveringly on-brand for Goldblum. He strikes the keys with a quick tempo that aids the listener in envisioning Goldblum playing the piano in front of them. This style is also present in the songs “The Cat” and “The Kicker,” where his instrumental performances are in rapid succession to create a fast-paced joyful listening experience.
This album provides a space for relaxation and focus with soothing songs that put listeners in a cheerful state of mind. The vocals and instrumentals aren’t distracting, providing simple background music that blends with everyday tasks like walking to class or trying to study. One may not hear much of Goldblum in this album, but his influence on the record is undeniable.