Joe Albany

Joe Albany

born on 24/1/1924 in Atlantic City, NJ, United States

died on 12/1/1988 in New York City, NY, United States

Joe Albany

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Joe Albany (born Joseph Albani; January 24, 1924 – January 12, 1988) was an American modern jazz pianist who played bebop with Charlie Parker as well as being a leader on his own recordings.[1][2]

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.[3] In 1946 he at least once played with Parker and then 20-year-old Miles Davis.[4] 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.[5]

Albany was the focus of a 1980 documentary titled, Joe Albany... A Jazz Life.[3] His daughter Amy-Jo wrote a memoir about her father called Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Childhood.[6] The book was adapted for the screen and released in 2014 as the biopic Low Down.[7] Joe was also the biological father to Benjamin David Goldberg, who was adopted by another family shortly after being born. Benjamin David was also a musician, who studied percussion at Juilliard, played for Broadway shows and was in the US Army Band.


Year recorded Title Label Notes
1957 The Right Combination Riverside Trio, with Warne Marsh (tenor sax), Bob Whitlock (bass)
1966 Portrait of a Legend Fresh Sound Trio, with Leroy Vinnegar (bass), Frank Capp (drums)
1971 Joe Albany at Home Spotlite Solo piano
1972 Proto-Bopper Revelation Trio, with Bob Whitlock (bass), Nick Martinis and Jerry McKenzie (drums; separately)
1973 Birdtown Birds SteepleChase Trio, with Hugo Rasmussen (bass), Hans Nymand (drums); in concert
1974 Two's Company SteepleChase Duo, with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass); also released by Inner City in 1976
1974 Joe Albany & Joe Venuti Horo Quintet, with Joe Venuti (violin), Joe Cusumano (guitar), Giovanni Tommaso (bass), Bruno Biriaco (drums); also released by Parlophone in 1977
1976 This Is for My Friends Musica
1976 Epiphany Blue Jack Solo piano
1977 Plays George Gershwin & Burton Lane Musica
1977 The Albany Touch Sea Breeze Solo piano
1977 Live in Paris Fresh Sound Trio, with Alby Cullaz (bass), Aldo Romano (drums)
1979 Bird Lives! Interplay Trio, with Art Davis (bass), Roy Haynes (drums)
1982 Portrait of an Artist Elektra/Musician Trio/Quartet, with George Duvivier (bass), Charlie Persip (drums), Al Gafa (guitar)


  1. ^ Barbera, André (2002). "Albany, Joe". In Barry Kernfeld (ed.). The new Grove dictionary of jazz, vol. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. pp. 24–45. ISBN 1561592846.
  2. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. pp. 6. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
This page was last modified 17.09.2020 02:17:36

This article uses material from the article Joe Albany from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.