Jon Benjamin will be recognized by many for lending his voice to television shows like Home Movies, Bob’s Burgers and Archer, but something he definitely wouldn’t and shouldn’t be recognized for is his talent as a jazz pianist. That’s because it doesn’t exist.
His new album, Well I Should Have… (subtitled Learned to Play Piano), is a comedy album disguised as a worthwhile attempt at making music. Backed by a professional jazz band, he basically plunks keys and tries to make it up as he goes along. I got about ten seconds into the first song, appropriately named “I Can’t Play Piano,” before I had to laugh myself.
This interview Benjamin did with NPR gets at the heart of the matter. The album is no Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and Jon Benjamin is no Charles Mingus, but even real jazz experts can probably find a little bit of enjoyment in the sheer incompetence on display here. To the undiscerning ear, it might actually sound legitimate at times. That’s definitely part of the point he’s making, but another is just to flat-out suck without any pretensions otherwise. It’s refreshing and definitely worth checking out.