|Birth name||Joseph Albani|
January 24, 1924|
Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||January 12, 1988
New York City, New York, U.S.
Life and career
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. In 1946 he at least once played with Parker and then 20-year-old Miles Davis. He continued for a few years afterward, and in 1957 recorded an album for Riverside with an unusual trio line-up with saxophonist Warne Marsh and Bob Whitlock on bass, omitting a drummer. 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 respiratory failure and cardiac arrest in New York City at the age of 63.
Albany was the focus of a 1980 documentary titled, Joe Albany... A Jazz Life. His daughter Amy-Jo wrote a memoir about her father called, Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Childhood. The book was adapted for the screen and released in 2014 as the biopic Low Down.
- The Right Combination (Riverside, 1957), trio recording with Warne Marsh and Bob Whitlock
- Joe Albany at Home (Revelation, 1972), solo recording
- Proto–Bopper (Spotlite, 1972), trio recording with Bob Whitlock
- Joe Albany at Home (Spotlite, 1973)
- Birdtown Birds (SteepleChase/Inner City, 1973), trio recorded live in Copenhagn
- Two’s Company (SteepleChase, 1974; Inner City, 1976), duo recording with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen
- Joe Albany & Joe Venuti (Horo, 1974; Parlaphone, 1977), quintet with Joe Venuti recorded in Italy
- This Is for My Friends (Musica, 1976), solo recording
- Plays George Gershwin & Burton Lane (Musica, 1977)
- The Albany Touch (SeaBreeze, 1977; Interplay, 1979), trio recording with Art Davis and Roy Haynes
- Live in Paris (Fresh Sound, 1977) with Alby Cullaz, Aldo Romano
- Bird Lives! (Storyville, 1979) with Art Davis, Roy Haynes
- Portrait of an Artist (Elektra, 1982), quartet with George Duvivier (b), Charlie Persip (d), Al Gafa (g); comprises a conversation with Albany
- 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.
- Feather, Leonard & Gitler, Ira (2007). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press, p. 9.
- A recording from a live set at the Final Club in Los Angeles from May 1946 was released as Yardbird in Lotus Land in 1976 on Spotlight Records in the UK. Cf. Charlie Parker discography on Jazzdisco.org. and Yardbird in Lotus Land at Discogs
- "Joe Albany, 63, Dies; Master of Jazz Piano". The New York Times. 16 January 1988.
- Albany, A. J. (2003). Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Childhood. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1582343334.
- Rapold, Nicolas (23 October 2014). "A Daughter's View of Dad, the Jazz Pianist and Addict". The New York Times. p. C8.
- Russell, Ross (April 1959) "The Legendary Joe Albany". The Jazz Review. pp. 18–19, 40.