Heroin is a hell of a drug, and should be avoided at all costs because it can (and most likely will) lead to a life of agony. If someone ever hands you a heroin, you look them square in the eyes and say “No! I will not do a heroin! Not now, not EVER!” Contrary to popular belief, heroin does not magically make you look cool (unless you think sleeping while standing up looks cool.) I have never been one to look at martyred rock musicians like Bradley Nowell or Sid Vicious and think of their drug use as glamorous or appealing in any way. Yet, for some reason, nothing looks cooler to me than a heroin-addled jazz musician. Something about the immense skill and coordination required to play jazz, mixed with a drug that slows motor-function makes the combination of the two mysterious and, thus, fascinating. The life and death of Joe Albany is no exception to that rule. His struggle with heroin and music is the subject of the film Low Down, starring John Hawkes as lead role of Joe Albany. Here is a brief synopsis from Variety:
Jazz pianist Joe Albany and his soul-warming music come to life in the first official trailer for “Low Down.”
John Hawkes stars as the famed musician and Elle Fanning plays his daughter, who penned the memoir the film is based on. Albany, who performed with the likes of Charlie Parker and Lester Young, died in 1988 after losing a battle with heroin addiction.
The pic, which traces two years of Albany’s troubled life, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
This film is made all the more intriguing by its supporting cast, including Glenn Close, Peter Dinklage, and yes, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea – whose presence in this trailer pretty much sealed its fate as a movie I’m definitely going to see. I don’t want to speak too soon, but this might be a break-out role for Flea, who will be able to showcase not only his acting chops but also his jazz trumpet abilities. I’ve always found Flea to be welcome surprise in the films where he’s made cameos, so it’ll be nice to see him have the chance to stretch his legs. I think he is one of the coolest human beings alive today. Which makes sense – he is a former heroin addict and a jazz musician.