Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Portrait of An Artist
Joe Albany was a legendary jazz pianist, having played with Charlie Parker in the 1940s. His rare recordings have been few and far between, with Portrait Of An Artist being his very last recording. It was originally issued... more »
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Joe Albany was a legendary jazz pianist, having played with Charlie Parker in the 1940s. His rare recordings have been few and far between, with Portrait Of An Artist being his very last recording. It was originally issued on the Elektra/Musician label in 1982. It is making its worldwide CD debut.
A good bu not the best Joe Albany album
C. Katz | Peoples Republic Of Massachussettes | 06/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If your fan of the disciples of Bud (read Bird's pianists-Al Haig,Duke Jordan,etc) Joe Albany was there and played with Parker.And like Bud,Jordan,Haig etc they remained true to pure a pure bebop style.But of all of those who were there during the revolution Albany was the one who is least documented.He cut his teeth with Leo Watson,Benny Cater,George Auld,and Benny Cater but the Bird session were his most famous gig.But like Al Haig he the usual story drugs and personal problems kept him from other than one major album "The Right Combination" on Riverside in 1957 which was done in jam on home taping gear.Both he and Al Haig mirrored each other Haig having four wives and was brought to trial for strangling his third though he was acquitted while Albany's second wife killed herself and the third overdosed.So much for thinking beautiful music comes from a beautiful soul.With all this it was amazing to observers that Albany made it to age 64 (he died in 1988).And like Haig Albany couldn't get recorded until the early 70's when he cut a few Lp's for Steeplechase and Enja.
Now this album 1982 session which was Albany's last.While there isn't any BAD playing by Albany out there and if some of the discovered live tapes have poor sound quality (but given his dearth of recordings they are out there.But unlike some of his other works this album "Portrait Of An Artist" gives you the genius but it seems to me there is a bit of fire left out of his playing.He is in good hands with Gorge Duvier on Bass and Charlie Persip on Drums with a few cuts Al Gafa on Guitar.It seems as though the artist and producer chose to have Albany almost give this a soloist and accompaniment treatment where there are lengthy intros by Albany and other than Duviver,Persip and Gafa hold back a bit but this may not to overwhelm the tempo and feel from the leader.This recording grew on me when I turned it up and gave it some repeated listenings but frankly if you want the definitive Albany pick up the '57 session and a bookend his second to last one the excellent "Bird Lives" on Storyville with Art Davis and Roy Haynes.Still if a bit lacking in flash and few notes that seam to kiss for whatever reason (one wonders what his health was like this day) this is still worth picking up if you your into the pure bebop idiom.Oh BTW there is a interesting interview of Albany by the producer at the end of the CD.It's not terribly sensational or revelatory interview but an honest admission of what dedication it takes to maintain practice and that even for a gifted player it takes hard work to maintain ones chops and get prepared for a session (though a guy like Bird his idol could be a mess and almost always come out on top).By mortals like Albany need to work it.Her it's not perfect but still a good LP.
Jazz Foundation Of America can use your help."