Born: Mar 26, 1925 in Savannah, GA
Died: December 9, 2010 in San Diego, CA
Styles: Bop, Hard Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Saxophone Jazz
Instruments: Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
James Moody has been an institution in jazz since the late '40s, whether on tenor, flute, occasional alto, or yodelling his way through his "Moody's Mood for Love." After serving in the Air Force (1943-1946), he joined Dizzy Gillespie's bebop orchestra and began a lifelong friendship with the trumpeter. Moody toured Europe with Gillespie and then stayed overseas for several years, working with Miles Davis, Max Roach, and top European players. His 1949 recording of "I'm in the Mood for Love" in 1952 became a hit under the title of "Moody's Mood for Love" with classic vocalese lyrics written by Eddie Jefferson and a best-selling recording by King Pleasure. After returning to the U.S., Moody formed a septet that lasted for five years, recorded extensively for Prestige and Argo, took up the flute, and then from 1963-1968, was a member of Dizzy Gillespie's quintet. He worked in Las Vegas show bands during much of the 1970s before returning to jazz, playing occasionally with Gillespie, mostly working as a leader and recording with Lionel Hampton's Golden Men of Jazz. Moody, who has alternated between tenor (which he prefers) and alto throughout his career, has an original sound on both horns. He is also one of the best flutists in jazz. James Moody has recorded as a leader for Blue Note, Xanadu, Vogue, Prestige, EmArcy, Mercury, Argo, DJM, Milestone, Perception, MPS, Muse, Vanguard, and Novus.
- Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)
Муди Джеймс (р. 26 февраля 1925, Саванна, Джорджия) - американский джазовый музыкант (саксофон, флейта), композитор. Представитель модерн-джаза.
"Not only has James Moody put a fresh spin on tunes that one immediately associates with Mancini…he has included some of the more obscure favorites of mine. Jazz-flavored pieces like 'Slow Hot Wind,' 'Royal Blue' and 'Soldier In The Rain' are refreshing reminders of his broad musical strokes. "As for Moody's interpretation of the ridiculously repetitive "(I Love You And) Don't You Forget It," I just listen and giggle. It's the best!"
Ginny Mancini, wife of the late Henry Mancini, 1997
James Moody fondly remembers his friend, the late Henry Mancini, in his latest recording titled Moody Plays Mancini. The jazz master's second solo release on Warner Bros. Records is a personal tribute to one of America's greatest composers. One of James Moody's best memories is the evening he ran into Henry Mancini at an Ella Fitzgerald tribute. They discussed the possibility of Moody recording some of his work, and shortly afterward, Mancini sent Moody a songbook with selections he thought he might like. Sadly, Mancini died of cancer a few years later in 1994, before Moody could begin the project.
It is understandable that Moody would want to celebrate the music of composer/conduc-tor/arranger Henry Mancini who is regarded as one of the most versatile talents in music. Not only was he nominated for 72 Grammys and 18 Academy Awards, winning twenty and four respectively, but Mancini and Moody share a lot of musical history.
Among Mancini's most memorable film scores are Victor/Victoria, 10, Breakfast At Tiffany's and The Pink Panther. The theme from the latter kicks off Moody's captivating collection, with the 72-year-old deftly tooting his Sankyo flute. Mancini recorded over 90 albums with styles varying from big band to jazz to classical to pop, and Moody has selected ten of Mancini's most memorable, exotic, and emotionally rich compositions, from a catalogue brimming with classic songs and enduring music.
James Moody possesses a timeless talent, inexhaustible energy, and a cosmopolitan style conducive to Mancini's legacy. He wails on saxophone in "Silver Streak" with a hip keyboard solo by Gil Goldstein, who also serves as arranger and co-producer for the album (the title he held on Moody's previous release on Warner Bros. Records). Moody also lends his solid baritone to two tracks - the hopelessly romantic "Moon River" and the playful, silly "(I Love You And) Don't You Forget It." The haunting mystery of "Charade" is given a new turn on tenor sax, while the bittersweet "Two For The Road" finishes the set.
"One of the goals of this project was to allow Moody to focus on his interpretations," explains Warner Bros. Records' Matt Pierson, Senior Vice President of Jazz and the album's co-producer. "He has such a grasp of so many different instruments that we wanted him to play more of them on one album. To that end, we also kept the band small for that intimate feeling." Moody plays Keilworth tenor, alto and soprano saxophones as well as Sankyo flute and is backed by Gil Goldstein on keyboards, Todd Coolman on bass and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums.
Moody, born on March 26, 1925, became interested in the alto saxophone at the age of 16. Interestingly, he was diagnosed with a congenital hearing loss as a child. (His impaired hearing could have been the reason he developed such a feel for improvisation.) A few years later, impressed by saxmen Buddy Tate and Don Byas in the Count Basie Orchestra, he switched to the full-bodied tenor saxophone. Following his discharge from the U.S. Air Force in 1947, he joined the influential be-bop/big band of Dizzy Gillespie. During that time, he recorded with trumpeter Howard McGhee and vibist Milt Jackson for Dial Records. A year later he made his recording debut as a bandleader (James Moody And His Bop Men, for Blue Note), using players from the Gillespie band.
In 1949, Moody headed for Europe, where he created the masterpiece for which he is best known, Moody's Mood For Love. In high demand, he returned to the States in 1951, and worked frequently with Dinah Washington and Eddie Jefferson. In 1963, he rejoined Gillespie, performing in the trumpeter's quintet for the remainder of the decade.
In 1985, his career received a boost with a Grammy Award nomination for his play on the Manhattan Transfer's Vocalese album. Moody also recorded Something Special, Moving Forward, Sweet and Lovely and Honey during that decade for the Novus/RCA label. Telarc released Moody's Party in 1995, a live recording of Blue Note's celebration of his 70th birthday. In April of 1996, James Moody released his first album for Warner Bros. Records, the refreshingly romantic and effervescent Young At Heart. Remarkably, it was only the second time in his career that he had used strings in a recording. In 1997, he teamed up with newcomer Mark Turner, a tenor saxophonist, on Warner Jams, Vol. 2: The Two Tenors, which also featured organist Larry Goldings. The energetic artist has since been touring extensively in America and Europe, but found the time to appear in the role of Mr. Glover in Clint Eastwood's upcoming film Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil. He was recently inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame, and will receive the prestigious 1998 Jazz Masters Award granted by the National Endowment of the Arts.
James Moody continues to shine as the maestro of improvisation and to challenge himself musically at every opportunity. Moody Plays Mancini is a tribute to a legend by a legend, wrought with the kind of joyous abandon that underscores the brilliance and classic melodies of the composer, and the virtuosity, unique interpretive style and depth of feeling of the artist.