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Various Artists: Lowdown: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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When you consider how difficult it is to get any film produced and into distribution these days-let alone one about a jazz musician-it’s quite something that Low Down made it to the finish line. Joe Albany is hardly a household name, and his story isn’t a feel-good tale: Starring John Hawkes as the pianist and Elle Fanning as his daughter Amy-Jo (on whose book it was based), it centers largely on Albany’s tragic struggle with drug addiction-not exactly date fare for the multiplex.

The soundtrack, stripped free of the film’s plotline, attempts to tell a different story, one of Albany’s mastery and significance. Of its 15 tracks, fewer than half are actually attributed to Albany; the rest are divvied among Ohad Talmor, who composed the film’s original score, and Albany’s contemporaries and influences, including Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Coleman Hawkins and a Ben Webster/Jack Teagarden pair-up on “Big Eight Blues.”

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