Joe Albany

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Joe Albany
Birth name Joseph Albani
Born (1924-01-24)January 24, 1924
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Died January 12, 1988(1988-01-12) (aged 63)
New York City
Genres Jazz
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis

Joseph Albani, known as Joe Albany (January 24, 1924 – January 12, 1988)[1] was an esteemed American modern jazz pianist. He was among the few white pianists to have played bebop with Charlie Parker.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, he studied piano as a child and, by 1943, was working on the West Coast in Benny Carter's orchestra.[2] In 1946 he was playing with Parker and also Miles Davis. He continued for a few years afterward, and played on an album with Warne Marsh in 1957. Despite that, most of the 1950s and 1960s saw him battling a heroin addiction, or living in seclusion in Europe. He also had several unsuccessful marriages in this period. He returned to jazz in the 1970s and played on more than ten albums. He died in New York City.[2]

He was the focus of a documentary in 1980 titled Joe Albany ... A Jazz Life[2] and his daughter Amy Jo ("AJ") wrote the memoir Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales From Childhood concerning him.


A 2014 biopic based on Albany's daughter's memoirs titled Low Down, is set for release in January 2014. Actor John Hawkes will portray Albany in the film.



  1. ^ Barbera, André (2002). "Albany, Joe". In Barry Kernfeld. The new Grove dictionary of jazz, vol. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. pp. 24–45. ISBN 1561592846. 
  2. ^ a b c Feather, Leonard & Gitler, Ira (2007) The biographical encyclopedia of jazz Oxford University Press, p. 9.

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