First Published April 2023
JEFF ‘PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS’
JEFF GOLDBLUM and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra have launched a brand-new EP, Plays Well With Others, on Decca Records. The release features special guests Kelly Clarkson, Mattiel Brown, Rodrigo Amarante and Freda Payne.
There’s no stopping Jeff Goldblum and his inimitable style, especially when it comes to something as close to his heart as playing the piano. Goldblum especially loves to accompany, punctuate, converse musically with friends and fellow music-makers, and so is in his element on this new release for 2023.
Entitled Plays Well With Others, and released on Decca on 24th March, Goldblum together with his long-time band, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, delivers sheer joy with his idiosyncratic take on a collection of standards that, for Jeff, are amongst the best songs ever written. Here, the actor yet again brings his on-screen charisma and eccentricities to the keys, with a groove that is totally unique.
With all tracks newly arranged by The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra themselves, Jeff is, as the EP title suggests, joined by an array of talented, and unexpected, guest singers, all as thrilled to be accompanied by Jeff as he is to accompany them.
The winter gloom of January 2023 was much improved with the release of Goldblum’s first single from the EP, Moon River, featuring vocalist Mattiel Brown of the indie-rock duo, Mattiel. This unusual collaboration in fact comes as no surprise, with the small clue of Brown’s own band’s song, Jeff Goldblum, in which she sings about meeting a Goldblum look-alike in the bathroom. The band, Mattiel, has also been known to have Jeff’s face projected onto the stage at gigs. There was no question this meeting of musical minds had to take place, and Mattiel flew out to LA to record vocals while Jeff and band were working on the record.
This offering sets the bar high, but the rest of the EP does not disappoint, as our star accompanist is also joined by multi-million-selling and award-winning singer Kelly Clarkson for Cole Porter’s 1930s classic, Don’t Fence Me In. And what better choice for the opening words, “Wildcat Kelly..”, beautifully delivered by Clarkson. This should also come as no surprise as Jeff actually put the idea to Kelly on camera, as a guest on her TV show, and even suggested the track. She said yes there and then! And they remained true to their word.
Next up is Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante who, having been admired by Jeff and the band from afar, joins them for the laid back 1962 song I Wanna Be Around. Then the remarkable voice of Freda Payne – who has performed with Jeff and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra in the past – features on the alluring Lazy Afternoon. This arrangement is perfect for their friend and brings the record to a suitably relaxed close, with all the haziness we hear about in the song.
In between numbers from the starring vocalists, Jeff and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra look after things with a couple of instrumental tracks. To open the record, Jeff greets us with an effortless and inviting piano intro to the swinging sax-led tune, A Baptist Beat (by Hank Mobley). The listener is later treated to a lilting bossa nova version of the 1950s song In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning, serving as a half-way point in the EP, and showcasing yet more dazzling solo moments from this brilliant band, with Goldblum bringing everyone together, in the way only he can.
~ Jeff Goldblum’s PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS is OUT NOW via Decca Records. All tracks arranged by Joe Bagg/Alex Frank/John Storie, recorded at The Hobby Shop Studios, Los Angeles CA, United States, in 2022.
GRAMMY NOMINATED RISSI PALMER RELEASES NEW SINGLE WITH MIKO PARKS
On Friday, March 24th, acclaimed country singer/songwriter and radio host, RISSI PALMER, released her new single STILL HERE, featuring CMT Next Women of Country artist, Miko Marks. Co-penned by Palmer, Marks, Deanna Walker and producers, Steve Wyreman and Justin Phipps, the empowering song is available worldwide on all digital streaming platforms now. Still Here is the first from Palmer’s upcoming new album, set for release later this year.
The tune’s powerful lyrics serve as inspiration to women struggling to hold their own in today’s society, with Palmer and Marks singing on the chorus: I’m still here / Made it through the mud and tears / Here / Tried to make me disappear / Counted me out for all these years / Whom shall I fear? / I’m still here / Rooted in the truth I speak / Here / Like the spirits that carry me / Birthed by the struggle, sharp as a spear / So whom shall I fear? / I’m still here!
“One day I was cooking and just thinking about how hard this [music] business is and how so many people I started out with are no longer doing it,” Palmer notes. “I laughed to myself because I’m either stubborn or crazy to still want to be here. The opening line came to me in that moment, adds Palmer. “This is a song for everyone who has endured the rain long enough to enjoy and appreciate the rainbow on the other side. You’ve earned it!”
In addition to the release of her new single, Palmer’s new documentary featured during the second season of the documentary short series American Masters: In the Making on Friday. The series focuses on nine artists across a variety of disciplines, whose work explores and influences American culture today.
Hosted by Tony Award–winning actress and singer, Audra McDonald, the broadcast premiere featured two short films focused on two barrier–breaking musicians, with Grammy-winning opera singer, J’Nai Bridges’ film, Unamplified opening the episode, followed by Palmer’s Rissi Palmer: Still Here. Directed by Dilsey Davis, Rissi Palmer: Still Here follows Palmer on tour and as she works on her upcoming new album, all while managing family life and one of the busiest professional years she has had in a decade.
As one of only five African American women to ever hit the Billboard charts in the history of country music, Palmer continues to create a spotlight for herself and other women of colour. In 2007, she became the first Black woman to chart a country song since Dona Mason in 1987. At the time, there wasn’t as much representation in the genre there is today, and Rissi had to deal with numerous obstacles to pursue her career in country music. Since parting ways with her label in 2010, Palmer has redefined success on her own terms. She has released three critically acclaimed albums independently and scored two Grammy nominations in the Best Children’s Music Album category. Palmer also hosts her own Apple Music Country radio show titled, Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer, where she is working to change perceptions about people of color’s involvement in country music – both past and present.
She is a leading name in the music industry who has performed at The White House, The Grand Ole Opry, and New York’s Apollo Theater and Lincoln Center. Palmer is also a CMT Hot 20 Countdown correspondent and Governor of the Recording Academy Nashville chapter.
~ This summer, Palmer and Marks will launch their co-headlining US acoustic tour in May, and will then head overseas to perform in the UK at The Long Road Festival in August. More information and tickets can be found at www.thelongroad.com/tickets STILL HERE, featuring Miko Parks, is OUT NOW.
LEE BRICE HONOURS LATE FRIEND WITH ‘SAVE THE ROSES’
Curb Records artist, LEE BRICE, who has achieved over 5.7 billion career streams, has released his latest single, Save The Roses, alongside a poignant music video. The song, written from the perspective of a character who has recently passed away, features on Brice’s hit album, Hey World, and was co-written by Brice, Kyle Jacobs and Joe Leathers.
Jacobs, a longtime friend and collaborator of Lee Brice, as well as a decorated Nashville songwriter and the husband of American Idol star Kellie Pickler, lost his life in February this year at the age of 49. During his noteworthy career as a songwriter and producer, he produced four #1 country airplay singles for Brice — Hard to Love, I Drive Your Truck, Drinking Class and Rumor — as well as writing songs for Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw among others. The last post from his personal Instagram account, on February 16, 2023, was to celebrate Hey World achieving Platinum certification.
Commenting on the decision to share Save The Roses as his next radio single, Brice shared, “I want to honor my brother, so instead of moving on to new music, a new record – I feel God very strongly pulling at my heart to release this song. I had no idea when we wrote it, that it would eventually be a song about Kyle – a great friend whose life deserves to be honored as he blessed so many lives while here on this Earth.”
Hey World is an expression of Lee’s desire to quiet the frustrations and uncertainties that the past few years have put us all through and find some healing in his music. The album has amassed over 1 billion streams and features four U.S. #1 singles for Brice – Soul, I Hope You’re Happy Now with Carly Pearce, One of Them Girls, and Memory I Don’t Mess With.
~ SAVE THE ROSES, by LEE BRICE, is OUT NOW.