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, New York
Genres Jazz
Instruments Piano
Associated acts

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

Life and career[edit]

Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Albany 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 of upper respiratory failure and cardiac arrest in New York City at the age of 63.[3]

Albany was the focus of a 1980 documentary titled, Joe Albany…A Jazz Life.[2] His daughter Amy-Jo wrote a memoir about her father called, Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Childhood.[4] The book was adapted for the screen and released in 2014 as the biopic Low Down.[5]



  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 Feather, Leonard & Gitler, Ira (2007) The biographical encyclopedia of jazz Oxford University Press, p. 9.
  3. ^ "Joe Albany, 63, Dies; Master of Jazz Piano". The New York Times. 16 January 1988. 
  4. ^ Albany, A. J. (2003). Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Childhood. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1582343334. 
  5. ^ Rapold, Nicolas (23 October 2014). "A Daughter’s View of Dad, the Jazz Pianist and Addict". The New York Times. p. C8. 

External links[edit]