James Moody (saxophonist)

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James Moody ( Puerto Rico 2007)

James Moody (born March 26, 1925 in Savannah , Georgia , † December 9, 2010 in San Diego , California ) was an American jazz musician ( tenor and occasionally alto saxophone , flute , vocals ), composer and band leader . He was one of the first tenor saxophonists to play bebop and was considered an important "jazz institution" ( Scott Yanow ).

Live and act

Moody, whose father in Tiny Bradshaw played trumpet, grew up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey , and learned from 1941 self-taught saxophone. He was inspired by Don Byas and Count Basie, among others . In the US Air Force he played in a military band from 1943. From 1946 until 1948 he played with Dizzy Gillespie in his Dizzy Gillespie Big Band , with whom he later worked sporadically; he also played with bebop musicians such as Al Haig , Howard McGhee and Milt Jackson . His first album was released in 1948 on Blue Note Records . From 1948 to 1951 he stayed in Europe , where he worked with Tadd Dameron in Paris and Arne Domnérus in Stockholm, among others . He performed with Dameron and Miles Davis in May at the Festival International 1949 de Jazz . At the end of a recording session with Lars Gullin , he borrowed his alto saxophone for fun : his solo on “I'm In The Mood For Love” made him known as a great improviser; the piece later became a hit with King Pleasure and Blossom Dearie as Moody's Mood for Love .

He then worked in the United States with Babs Gonzales until 1953 and then directed his own jazz combo in which he worked with singer Eddie Jefferson (1953 to 1957, then again 1968 to 1973). Recordings from 1954/55 such as “Moody's Workshop” showed him as a great ballad player of this time, with earthy solos characterized by rhythm and blues . On the tenor saxophone as well as on the flute , which he started using at the suggestion of Yusef Lateef from the end of the 1950s, he developed a warm sound that preferred the dark registers. In 1958 he created his album Last Train from Overbrook , which was followed by numerous good albums for Argo Records . In the late 1950s he toured the southern United States with a tentet .

In 1962 he worked with Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt in the formation Battle of the Saxophones , then worked again with Gillespies Bigband, with whom he performed at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Berlin Jazz Days in 1968 . In 1971 he was one of the main soloists on Charles Mingus ' big band album Let My Children Hear Music . Between 1974 and 1980 he was employed in the show band of a hotel in Las Vegas and accompanied guest stars. He has since returned to the jazz scene, working primarily with smaller groups, including George Mraz and Victor Jones in the 1980s, and Mulgrew Miller , Marc Copland and Terri Lyne Carrington in the following decade . He made numerous recordings with his quartet (with Renee Rosnes ), played with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars and in 2007 also worked with the WDR Big Band . In November 2009 Moody u. a. with Cyrus Chestnut and the singer Roberta Gambarini in Germany.

Moody was honored as a NEA Jazz Master in 1998. He lived in San Diego with his wife, Linda. Like his friend and role model Gillespie, he was enthusiastic about the Baha'i faith and was involved in the religious community.

Selected discographic references

  • 1951: Sax Talk ( Disques Vogue )
  • 1954: Moody's Sound For Blues (OJC)
  • 1954: Hi-Fi Party (OJC)
  • 1955: Wail, Moody, Wail (OJC)
  • 1970: The Teachers (Perception)
  • 1971: Heritage Hum (Perception)
  • 1986: Something Special (Novus)
  • 1987: Moving Forward (Novus)
  • 1989: Sweet And Lovely (Novus)
  • 1990: Honey (Novus)


Web links

Commons : James Moody  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/dec/09/jazz-giant-passes-james-moody-1925-2010/