Comedian H. Jon Benjamin Takes on Classic Film Soundtracks as the Jazz Daredevil
Published Jul 24, 2020Five years since the release of his debut jazz album, voice actor and comedian H. Jon Benjamin — known for his work on Bob's Burgers, Archer and Home Movies — is back with another full-length release under the moniker Jon Benjamin Jazz Daredevil.
Following up his 2015 effort, Well, I Should Have… Learned How to Play Piano, Benjamin has returned, this time taking on "jazz" synth covers of classic film soundtracks in a new nine-track album, The Soundtrack Collection, with the help of the Budapest Scoring Orchestra. The record is out now via Sub Pop.
Read his statement about the new record (that no one asked for) below.
WHY ANOTHER ALBUM? The question must be screaming in your mind. In 2015, I started my jazz journey. Even I thought it would end, but the spirits of sound, they keep pulling at me. At times, I've danced with the demons of malaise and grappled with the warlocks of uncertainty. This collection represents a rebirth/afterbirth. A reforming of what I have done and what has been done before me. A voyage into a more futuristic soundscape, like a drunk (very drunk), crazed cosmonaut's first spacewalk. A burnt offering to the Gods of Providence—Gods that take from us mercilessly the corpuscular light of what we give, fractured through our prism of inability. My work may be an affront, but is our collective affront. My sins are unwavering but my jazz is my confession; each note a cleansing; the sound of the squeezing of an overripe peach and the juice putrid. These songs, like spumes of spite, are sufferings, profane grumbles, and they weave their thread into your soul like falcon's talons into the belly of a bunny. Every compression is an impression (not sure what this means) but I think I'm talking about compressing the keys on the keyboard. But in them all are 'sharts of hope'. I crash expectations. I throw poo in the face of my oppressors. I scream like a baby bird to the legions. I, by my own hand, mock the clouds for forming, cry ecstatic till temples crumble. I, by my own hands, shake the world. I am, like William Morris once wrote, 'the haystack in the floods.' I am, for all time, the Jazz Daredevil.
The whole thing — goofy missteps and all — is a familiar listen, at bare minimum, as the record sees Benjamin taking on themes and soundtrack numbers from Halloween, Top Gun, Miami Vice and more using a Moog synthesizer.
Listen to The Soundtrack Collection in full below, where you'll also find a trailer for the record featuring Benjamin's take on "Also Sprach Zarathustra," the theme from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.