NY Cabaret Review by Sandi Durell
Interpretive jazz and comedy were the order of the evening at Jeff Goldblum’s opening at the Café Carlyle. The only thing missing was the smoke (albeit the band was smokin’ hot). Actor/director/musician Goldblum revealed another side to his many talents when he became his own warm up act doing some stand-up comedy pre show.
His droll sense of humor and ability to involve the filled-to-capacity room in his act, put a new spin on what’s happening at the Carlyle. Goldblum has an easy, earthy, fly by the seat of your pants approach that immediately makes him affable. The evening became a series of movie quizzes, quick one-liners and bantering with the audience, interspersed with swingin’ interpretive jazz pieces that included Charlie Parker’s “Scrapple From the Apple,” Duke Ellington’s “I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart” and Thelonious Monk’s “Epistrophy.” But the audience had to first guess what scrapple and epistrophy meant. No problem for John Pizzarelli who was there with wife Jessica Molaskey!
Goldblum introduced his guest artist, young jazz bird Hilary Gardner (she hails from Wasilla, Alaska) who added a smooth version of “Autumn in New York (Vernon Duke), along with self penned “The Great City.”
The jazz instrumentals, with Goldblum on piano, became those unrecognizable melodies when top notch musicians, in what he calls “The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra,” start jammin’. A standout was Zane Musa on tenor sax, completely without limits and whose playing ability was truly amazing, making that instrument speak – not to diminish the other musicians John Storie on guitar, Tim Emmons on bass and Kenny Elliott on drums; all sensational.
Enjoying the evening and their anniversary was TV’s Al Roker and his wife.
Looks like the feeling of the more staid Cafe Carlyle may be changing as Buster Poindexter (David Johansen) is one of the up and coming acts to also shake things up.
Photos: Astrid Stawiarz for Café Carlyle