Jeff Goldblum Gathers An Assortment Of Guest Vocalists On His Latest Jazz Album


This is world cafe. I'm Renee Doris talking. To Jeff. Goldblum is in a word delightful just like when he's acting. He peppers his his conversation with Little flourishes that make his speech almost musical and so maybe it makes sense that he's been playing music almost his entire life practicing piano since he was a kid playing jazz club residency for the last several years and releasing his first jazz album back in two thousand eighteen with his band. End The mildred snits our orchestra that first album they put out the Capitol Studio sessions went to the top of the jazz charts and now Jeff Goldblum and the mildred snits orchestra have returned with a new one called. I shouldn't be telling you this Jeff. Goldblum joins me to talk about the assortment of famous guest vocalist. He brought together for the project project about his family somehow manages to get me to speak French and he is generally delightful. We start with a song from I. I shouldn't be telling you this the opening track featuring Sharon van Etten on vocals. This is. Let's face the music and dance. Maybe yeah so is news again Ah Face that's let's face the music and Dance Jeff Goldblum and the orchestra featuring Sharon van Etten on vocals from Jeff Goldblum's new album. I shouldn't be telling you this I'm reiniger is and Jeff Jeff. Goldblum joins me now Jeff. Welcome to the World Cafe. Thank you Raina. It's a thrill to be here. Thanks so much for having. Yeah it's interesting because say think For people who haven't heard you played before they may be surprised to know that you don't really sing that much on your jazz albums you play piano. You leave most of the singing to some special guests like the song we just heard. Sharon van Etten sang that one. Did anyone need some extra encouragement to get into singing jazz. Wow Aw Fiona Apple. I'm remembering Oh she's such shows such a wonderful person and singer she. We contacted contacted her and we may. I made a little video. I got her what I do. Get her number somehow met her on an occasion many years ago and then we we started to make videos to each other and say hey I thought this and she seemed to happy about the whole thing and she came over and as soon as she started to sing thing that I started to get weepy and choked up and I was very emotional and very She's just so soulful and personal and unique and I I just loved it and then she's kind of like many great artists shy in some ways. You know and in highly sensitive so after that session. I think there was a conversation or two where I said. Well we just WanNa make it you know. She had considerations about one thing or another and I said we just WanNa make it perfect for you so that it's so that you really happy with us and then we figure figured out and she's one of the people who stayed in her house. I Mike Thank where she's got a high class Recording situation an engineer and Worked with our track that we made and then she She she came up with what she was doing which I just loved. I just thought it was great. Let's take a listen to some of that right now. The Fiona Apple Song on the new Jeff Goldblum and the mildred Schnitzer Orchestra allegation. Telling you this it's don't worry about me Ayoola why should you cling to. Some fading vein used to be you. Don't worry about me. Don't worry about Me Jeff. Goldblum and the mildred snits orchestra with Fiona apple singing from the a new album. I shouldn't be telling you this. This is world cafe. I'm reiniger is joined by Jeff Goldblum now. A lot of people may know you as an actor. I but you've even playing jazz piano for a long time. And for the past several years we've had an on again off again weekly residents where you play at a place called Rockwell for those of us eh. Who Haven't been there could you describe rockwell? Rockwell is a lovely place for US particularly. We've been there for several years now and on Wednesday nights from nine until eleven if I'm in town not otherwise obligated and working We're there we've got a so-called residency and they've been very nice to US generous generous and it's a they serve food there and there's a bar and it's perfect. I think couple of hundred people fit in there and we fill it up once a week and it seems to be conducive to Lively interaction spontaneous music and spontaneous conversation and we just have a blast. There people seem to like it. The what for the vibe leg isn't you know is it. Hardcore Jazz. Fans is it Jeff Goldblum fans is it sort of a mix of that. It always seems to be a mix a surprising. Mix from week to week The either some hardcore fans are because we play with just a great great people. But I it's true. I do get a lot of people who and there was a person last week as a matter of fact Woman who came up and said you know this is the first jazz concert I've ever been to in my life. I've never heard live jazz and and I don't even even know what that much and so I think we got a lot of people like that you know who've who are interested in one thing or another you know maybe about me and Movies and and and Yeah so everybody comes and seems to go away Happy Yeah it's kind of a gateway for some people into into the jazz world a little bit. Yeah well it's a responsibility instability. Can you imagine. Sometimes we're introducing people to you know Sidewinder for the first time Or don't worry about me or some of these standards and you know we try to play it We try to be good now. I can imagine that you probably introduced a few people a few. Maybe at a big show you played over over the summer kind of the opposite of a small jazz club played Glastonbury. There's video online of a little bit of that set. I guess not a ton of jazz pianists. Tests have played outdoor stages of that size at at festivals like that. So what was that experience like playing Glastonbury with your jazz band. It was absolutely lutely amazing. I'd never been there before. And there were thirty. Five thousand people. They told us in front of our state how I know but it felt felt in a way not unlike rockwell where there are a couple of hundred I talked to them and and they they We had a nice conversation all of us and and we played some music circa and I think they get. This is world cafe. I'm Ranariddh speaking to Jeff Goldblum about his new album. I shouldn't be telling you this. It's jazz jazz record. Jeff Goldblum and the mildred snits orchestra. Maybe my favorite track on your new album is make someone happy. Yeah well Gregory Porter come on. You know what happened I we I probably. I probably wouldn't be talking to like this about the second album if I hadn't met him him by chance in an airport some five years ago or whenever it was and I loved his music and I'm crazy about him and I went up to presumptuously and bravely and said Hi my name is Jeff and he said Oh yeah Guy Guy and I said well I'm just. I just adore your music and what you do and I admire care and respect You so much and anyway a couple of years later. I was promoting thor Ragnarok at on the Graham Norton Show in London and he was the musical guest and a he contacted me a few days before and said. Hey you play piano I'm I'm promoting. This can call album and I'm GONNA do Mona Lisa Mona Lisa. uh-huh named you that song. Maybe you could just maybe just you and me. You could play an I could sing. I said Yeah and I looked at it and learned it and we did that. And that's how Tom. Tom Lewis and Rebecca Allen from Decca in London who works with him saw us and said to themselves they told me. Hey maybe Maybe we could do an album with Jeff that might've been not a bad idea and they flew Los Angeles. We talked about it. And that's how the first album came about that live at the capital studios album album and And and after that you know went nicely and they asked us to do another. And that's how the second album came about and and So Anna did we I thought. Hey Gregory Porter we got. We got to cook up something with him and we did it and I I love that. Track Ju- thanks. Oh he's just such a fantastic stick fantastic singer. Let's listen to it gregory porter singing on this one from Jeff Goldblum in the mildred snits our orchestra this is to make someone happy and someone happy. Make just one Someone happy may just one hot. You Sing Mhm Smile it's so so nice. Singer is he spectacular or what is fantastic. He really is too and I like that idea. Make some if you make some what happens. I'm telling my oldest Boy We have two kids. I got a four and a half year old boy and emily. I have a two and a half year old boy river Joe. The younger and Charlie Ocean is the older. And I took Charlie Ocean yesterday to the Huntington Gardens and he said something happened during the trip up where he went. He shouldn't have done it. But you got a big stick. And he was out fishing out coins. Because he's coin obsessed Shiny Penny says from the wishing fountain several of them. They have their any fished went out and he saw couple of frenzy had their from school. We ran into a couple a kids from school any fish to out and he gave one to each of them and I said that's why I said. Why did you do that? He said I just wanted to see them. Make them happy you know and and Let's tell Mama about She's French and so she's insists that they call her mom and she's actually from Toronto. I know you're Canadian. I am from Toronto. I know so so anyway so she so we called Momma then. He couldn't stop talking about the fact that he did that. And I said you know there's this song called make someone happy and And it's a whole song about A how when you make somebody happy. Even one someone happy you can be happy to. That's the upshot of the whole song and he said Yeah Yeah so I liked You know being able to expose them to that bit of I think Good wholesome wisdom and You know he kept talking about how bad that I love it. I love it from Canada. That's right I am the entire Canadian national anthem. I think so I feel like there are a couple of lines. I always stumble on a little bit the French version. I have a harder time with but because you speak French Houston petite we Taibbi well I hardly. I don't so much beyond that and so I'm trying to catch up. As they're becoming bilingual both the kids. She talks exclusively to In French both of them I'm speaking to Jeff. Goldblum live unrolled cafe. My name is Randy talking about the new Jeff Goldblum and the mildred Schnitzer Orchestra at. I shouldn't be telling you this but would also like to talk about your her debut jazz record the Capitol Studio Sessions. It went to number one on the jazz charts in the UK and here in the states in twenty teen. But before you put that out as wondering did you worry at all. That people wouldn't take you seriously as a jazz musician. 'cause you're an actor. Well well you never WanNa make a a Fool out of yourself always uncomfortable. Although I've spent my life you know Risking humiliation public humiliation. So it's not unfamiliar appeared to me and frankly more than acting. Music has always been for fun. Pure kind of fun so even on this you know thrilling occasion Asian of our first release with Decca records. And you can imagine. I knew it would be listened to and you know Assessed by serious people you know. I Once we started to do it I just let the enjoyment of the of the doing of it. Carry me along and and what do I care. He brought a live audience in for it. Which is pretty bold for first album? Why did you record in front of a live audience? Well L. When we start we started to talk about it and what we wanted to do and somebody of course had the connection to capitol records where I'd done a thing or two and that's a wonderful building wonderful studio. Oh and they said Oh yeah we could get studio A. and B. and and make it so it's like a club like at Rockwell over there and and that's what we did and and I'll tell you while we were we did over the course of two nights and while we were doing it felt like a you know you know we could. Even you almost forget that they were recording. It felt like like a fun Happening and Jazz Occurrence you know it really does have that live in the room sort of feeling. There's a this really charming bit between you and Sarah Sarah Silverman. I'm just going to play a little bit of that clip story A little tug Rooney happens this. Did you say yeah my thighs rub together. It's like fire it's like actual fire exits. Are this way that way and bath halfway. Remember if anything combustible happens save yourselves. For God's sake I know let's get jazzy Looking nice that's Newman Sir Silverman. Right before she sings her song on your debut album the Capitol Studio sessions like you you. Sarah may be more well known for her acting or comedy in not so much her musical ability necessarily but we hear that she can say. How did you know that Sarah Silverman can say I think the world of her we've known each other for quite a while? I hosted Saturday night. Live a couple of times and she was that was back when she was a young writer later on the staff. That's how I met. And then I was pals with Gary Shandling and so is she and I found myself on one of his shows and we we overlap that way and so we were in sort of friendly circles. Overlapping and I just adore her. I think she's D- Great and then I'd see her special or her comedy things which has which have all along included some singing and She's she's very musical. She's great we in fact what did we do. Oh Yeah we go on Youtube. There's a very early sort of rehearsal that we did because we did that. Same Duet the me and my shadow for some show that she did and she still does at Largo. That lovely place here in Los Angeles. She she asked me to be a guest and said hey maybe we can do this thing. If you learn this other parts. So I went over to her apartment we she she filmed our video. Dr rehearsal our sole and You can see that some years ago and then when the album when this first album opportunity came up I thought yeah. Let's have her. Let's maybe we'll do that same thing things we tried to refine but mostly didn't do much and just had fun. Yes she's hilarious and I I love very much. Here's how it sounds me and my shadow. Jeff Jeff Goldblum and Sarah Silverman me repeat what I said at the start of her. Why we get finished? I will make the town will change that name Redskins. Is that such a char then. We'll tackle climate change hats off to Al Gore is go back Sarah Silverman singing with Jeff Goldblum. Who's playing piano there me and my shadow from the debut album from Jeff Goldblum and mildred snits orchestra? Jeff Goldblum joins me rain on World Cafe Right now to talk about these new album. I shouldn't be telling you this. I WANNA play another song from the album This one is the one where you teamed up with Miley Cyrus. Could you tell us a little bit about the thrill is gone. Well I love the gun. Well this song I'm like us a few others. Several on this album are sort of we think CANNY MASHUPS in this case. The thrill is gone. We did good where we did it with Django which is a modern jazz quartet. John Lewis Song that Many people know about I had to familiarize earlier is myself with it although the Mj Q.. The Modern Jazz Quartet Was One of my early influences. My brother Rick was a jazz fan. He brought home A bunch of modern jazz quartet records. So I was hearing this and things like that early on but so this is somewhat some Django and some the throughout is gone and I don't know I think I'd been aware of that through you. Know Chet Baker does a does a spectacular version of it and Then then we thought Miley Cyrus and like I say we contacted her and Put them together and tell you when I first heard this I I was also well. It may seem I'm emotional. I'm emotional so I was. I was once again Kinda weepy sort word of knock knocked out by different kind of tears than Fiona Fiona when she sang live for me I was I was I was I was is a it was a deep in a tears started kind of dribble dribble out. This one is sort of knocked over flat on my back and sort of wailing in in in satisfied tears. Okay well you'll want to make sure you're sitting down for this. It's miley Cyrus singing with Jeff Goldblum and mildred roots orchestra. The threes don't appeal to you is gone in the third The thrill is gone. miley cyrus singing with Jeff Goldblum and the mildred snigger. Orchestra from Jeff. GOLDBLUM's latest album. I shouldn't be telling you this I am talking to Jeff himself on rolled cafe. My name is Rena now. The Orchestra's called the mildred snits orchestra mildred Schnitzer. She's a real person. She's not actually in the band. But who is mildred snit tsar militarists netzer lived to be a hundred and four. I think and she passed away some years ago. But you can't complain about one hundred and four we get you and I get that much. I wouldn't be bad but she was a I'm from Pittsburgh originally and she was a friend of my mom my mom's Charlie and And she would come over and she was pounds. You know wish you'd be around under the house We were friends with our and I like that name Schnitzer. Yeah mildred snigger. And so and we're not really an orchestra extrapolate. Let's call ourselves the middle. Mildred SNITS orchestrates. It's kind of cute isn't it. I like it. I know what happened. And then we were playing Like some show was it ten Fifteen years ago and John Mastro our director said in the middle of a gig was in Los Angeles said. Hey Guess WHO's here. I sit here. Netzer he said you really. She has since moved from Pittsburgh to Northern California. Had come down. Didn't hadn't contacted US had come down. showed up at one of our gigs. All dressed up and a sequined gown. She was in her nineties. At this point and We were playing in the middle of a song she appeared and she was. You know bopping around dancing. She was always very physical ahead of time. Exercise Wise and and it was great to see her. Yeah that's Arkestra. That is wonderful. The the idea of her coming down in this sequined gown. No I'm talking to Jeff Goldblum World Cafe. I'm Marina Peres even playing piano for a long time since so you were a kid but even back then you knew you wanted to be an actor even when you're really young correct. Yeah that's exactly right around ten. I got the bug and And my dad had said if you find something you love doing that may be a key or vocational choice. I'd already gotten this idea that Jesus I gotta figure out what I want to be. You know they ask kids all the time time you know so I I I I felt some You know I I knew about that and I thought well actor. That's what I want and I've had my heart set on it ever since up around that same time is when I got alley. Cats started to play and just for on a Lark Got The telephone book. The yellow pages In Pittsburgh against and looked up cocktail lounges around Pittsburgh and from A to Z. Started to call cold call people and say hey. I understand that you need a piano player. Most of them would say. I know you've been miss misinformed. We don't even have a piano here. Some would say well. Who's this you sound? How old you? Yeah yeah well I was fifteen. You know how we got a piano. I don't know you wanNA come over and play play something. We'll maybe maybe you'll come over in Yeah maybe we'll give you a job and I got a couple of gigs that way. How did your parents feel about you? Going to you know cocktail bars. Nice to play music. Well I think they thought it was okay. It was a different time. So of course we'd already been you know you know. Go out the door all day long on our bikes and stay out all day. So I don't think they had the same thing that I would have now if If our kids that's a while from now so they wanted to go out and hang hang around clubs all night but But they the first couple I remember. I think they drove me because I was driving yet. They drove me and were there. And I think they were tickled because my dad was a jazz fan. Anyway he brought Home Eric Garner records. And that's how I I started to get into it. You know misty and all that stuff So he he was tickled about it and then I would. I don't know how I met a singer or to a lady singer and I started sort sort of practice with them. Somebody came over to the house. I remember practicing a little bit. And then they gave me a a ride to a gig or two and I don't know how they I felt about that but Worked out okay. I guess you're one. Didn't she work as a radio. Broadcaster is that true well after we left after you you know she had They had four kids. I was the third of three boys. And then my sister Pam so there were four of us. I can't imagine what what any more than two would be like. They had four and she was young boy. I think she had the first one when she was twenty or twenty one. She had the fourth one before she was thirty at twenty seven or twenty eight so her life was sorta spoken for in those days. And of course You know you know. There was an unequal opportunity field for women. I think doc which thankfully is You know in the process of writing itself But anyway after we left I think she you felt unshackled in some way and had latent and potential energy and interest and enthusiasm and intelligence and talent for all sorts of things and then got a job for a time legend. Has it not that. I've heard not that I heard any I think it was local And I was away by that time in new darker. LA Doing some some radio stuff. That's right I'm talking to Jeff Goldblum World Cafe. I'm Rena satirises. WanNa play the last song on the album now SORTA tie things up here and it's a song written in the thirties. It's been recorded by Perry Harry Komo Bing Crosby Eric Clapton and it's the only song you sing on the album. Could you tell us why you wanted to record little men. You've had a busy day. Well we like I said we had conversations about well. What should we do in this Somebody said well you should sing something really. Well what what would you sing. I said well Um I said you know I have been. I've got these two little kids now and I do sing this song that I've known for a while but I sing it to them when they go to sleep sometimes and Mm sometimes I just find myself in the boys room. They have a room now with bunk. Beds Charlie is on the top and rivers on the bottom and I even when they're not there and sometimes I'd sing it to them now. It's still still and I sing it to them and it's It's very sweet to me level. Play it on the radio right now. Little Man you've had a busy day Jeff Goldblum and the mildred snits our orchestra on World Cafe Little Man. You're crying I know why you're blue. Someone stole your kiddy car away. Go to sleep little. You've had a busy day and little man. You've had a busy day. Jeff Goldblum and the mildred Schnitzer Orchestra from their new album. I shouldn't be telling you this it's out now. It is so lovely I've been talking to Jeff Goldblum here on world cafe. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Take Care Okay you better go to sleep now little man. You've had a busy day. You've been playing soldier. The battle has been one the enemies outta sight just so sweet little man. You've had a busy day. Jeff Goldblum mildred snits orchestra from the new album. I shouldn't be telling you this now. Thank you to Jeff Goldblum for joining me and and thank you to World Cafe Producer. John Meyers for his work on this piece. I'm Raina Durris. Thank you for listening to world cafe from NPR to hear the Bugle. Google softly say time you should be dreaming little man you've had I'm busy

Coming up next