Thursday, January 9, 2014

JOE ALBANY... A JAZZ LIFE 1980 Complete 60 min. Feature Documentary Film plus book review of "Low Down" by A.J. Albany





A hard to put down, and for a very good reason.  It's excellent.  This has to be the ultimate Jazz/drug/damaged youth memoir written by the daughter of jazz pianist Joe Albany, who on one level can be seen as a dad from hell, but one can still like him by the end of the book.   The one likable figure that does come out is the author A.J. Albany, who is an extremely good memoirist  and leaves the reader charmed by her  observant manner of picking the difference between the dirt and the stars.

Although her upbringing is troublesome at the very least, her intelligence and good taste comes through greatly.  I really like that she has a knowledge of the golden age of cinema while living in 1970's Hollywood, when it was dicey and not very nice, specially to young people damaged by the world of drugs and abandonment.  The one thing that does save her, we think, is her smartness, and the relationship between dad and her is both touching, because even though he fucked up big time, there is that bond between daughter and father that is pretty good.   But I think the daughter worked towards the bond more than dad, which is sad, but the reader doesn't fall into the world of pathos, because she has the spirit to survive, or at least we hope so - the book ends on a dark note.   One suspect that this dark note may have changed, but we're not sure till we read what happens later, and I hope she continues to write her adventure on to a page or two or another book.  

"Low Down" is without a doubt an important document on life on the edge in Los Angeles, as well in the twilight jazz world.  This small book reads well and fast.  Her focus on the teenage and young youth years does want one to read more, and that is a very good thing to have a desire for.

Below a fascinating documentary on A.J.'s dad Joe Albany.

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