November 08, 2018

The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

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When I was programing WPEZ in Pittsburgh, a young man in his twenties came in to the station and asked to talk to me. He claimed that he was a Pittsburgh native and a movie star. My first reaction was, right.

I usually don’t talk to anyone who isn’t in the music business. Still I was curious to find out what this guy was selling so I decided to give him a few minutes to tell me what was on his mind. It turned out to be an interesting conversation.

He told me his name was Jeff Goldblum and he was the son of a Pittsburgh doctor (father) and a radio personality (mother). His claim to being a movie star was a bit shaky. Jeff did bit parts in established hit films like the Charles Bronson’s “Death Wish” (he played a freak), “Nashville”, “Anne Hall” (one line) “Thank God it’s Friday” (the disco craze movie) and “The Sentinel”. The only real role he had was a supporting role in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.

I didn’t remember him from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, but I found Jeff to be very compelling, yet a bit odd. At 6’4’ Goldblum is a striking figure and had a confident way when he talked about his career. After he left I remember thinking to myself that I will hear more about him sometime. A few years went by before I did.

In 1986 when the movie “The Fly” came out I remembered the name Jeff Goldblum and went to see the film. It was the perfect film for his sometimes bizarre personality. It was the launching pad for him to play major roles in some of the biggest box office hits of all time like “Independence Day” and its sequel.

But the really big stardom came with “Jurassic Park” (1993) as well as the sequels “The Lost World of Jurassic Park” (1997) and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018). These films made him so popular that a twenty-five foot statue of Goldblum was erected in London’s Potters Field Park next to the famed Tower Bridge. It was a major attraction in the city while it was up this past summer.

It was a part that he almost didn’t get. He was selected for the role of Dr. Ian Malcom, but in the “final draft” Steven Spielberg decided to cut his character from the script. When Jeff was told, he somehow found a way to convince the famous producer/director that he was making a big mistake. Astonishingly Spielberg reversed his decision and Jeff’s role was put back in.

Certainly by now you are wondering where is T. Morgan going with this story? This website is devoted to music, not films. And what is the headline “The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra” all about anyway?

Well, for many years Jeff has played piano for a Jazz band with the unlikely name of The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. In keeping with his offbeat personality that shines through in his movie roles, he claims that Mildred is a family friend. It is hard to tell if he is putting us on or not.

In any case, he is a long way from Pittsburgh. He has been living in the Hollywood Hills for the past thirty years. In his time off the big screen, he has been polishing up his act.

The band has been playing almost every week at a Los Angeles Jazz club called the Rockwell Table & Stage for some twenty years. His passion for acting over shadowed his love for playing piano when he was still in his teens, but he still yearned to have a career in music.

Finally after all these years at age 66 Jeff Goldblum has gotten serious about his music and has released his first album. The title is pretty straight forward - JEFF GOLBLUM & THE MILDRED SNITZER ORCHESTRA –THE CAPITOL SESSIONS. The Decca Records album is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 


Jeff Goldblum album cover

1 comment

  • Comment Link georgia Wednesday, July 1, 2020 posted by georgia

    i love their songs

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