Music review: Actor Jeff Goldblum's debut jazz album is a laidback charmer

Better known for his idiosyncratic screen presence, Jeff Goldblum is also an avid amateur pianist who has been gigging in his hometown of Los Angeles since the 1990s.
Better known for his idiosyncratic screen presence, Jeff Goldblum is also an avid amateur pianist who has been gigging in his hometown of Los Angeles since the 1990s.PHOTO: AFP

JAZZ

THE CAPITOL STUDIOS SESSIONS

Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

Decca

3.5 stars

Actor Jeff Goldblum drops his debut jazz album, just in time for the Christmas stocking stuffer season. Better known for his idiosyncratic screen presence, Goldblum is also an avid amateur pianist who has been gigging in his hometown of Los Angeles since the 1990s.

His piano playing and slightly nasal tenor voice are pleasant, not groundbreaking. But his self-deprecating humour and willingness to concede the limelight to a succession of female guest vocalists, as well as better musicians, makes this album a laidback charmer.

The live setting, in the hallowed Capitol Studios in Hollywood, captures the relaxed speakeasy vibe generated by Goldblum and his band.

Check out the LOL insider jokes on his duet with comedian Sarah Silverman, Me And My Shadow, which manages to reference Al Gore, work in a velociraptor sound effect burble as well as a bit of odd banter about butter into the four-minute track.

Trumpeter Till Bronner contributes his silky cool tones on several tracks, including a shady It Never Entered My Mind. And singer Imelda May, who appears on three tracks, shines especially in a bluesy This Bitter Earth.

All this adds up to an album that you're likely to spin more than you'd expect.