This is certainly one of the best biopics of an artist I have seen in a long time. The artist in question is Joe Albany, a jazz pianist who has the honor of being one of the few white musicians to play with the jazz god Charlie Parker. His story, which begins at and is centered on the penultimate and saddest stage of his career (1973 to 1976), is told from the perspective of his daughter, Amy-Jo Albany, played convincingly by Elle Fanning. John Hawkes plays Albany, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea plays Albany’s closest friend. And the great Glenn Close plays the mountain of humanity that brought Joe into this world of cigarettes, a broken marriage, whores, and wonderful music. The plot is not complicated (the father is a self-destructive heroin addict, the daughter loves her father way too much, they live in a dump). The cinematography constantly captures moments of beauty in ugly situations and locations. And the art direction re-creates the 1970s without a hint of nostalgia. Low Down will not let you down. recommended

Support The Stranger