Saturday, December 11, 2010

R.I.P. James Moody

JAMES MOODY- 1926-2010

The world of music has lost another giant. I have just learned that Jazz great ,James Moody has passed away. He died of pancreatic cancer on Thursday night. He was 85.

James Moody was born in Savannah, Ga., in 1926, James Moody was raised in Newark, New Jersey. He was born partially deaf, which caused him to lisp, yet this obstacle never diminished his musical skills. He served in a segregated Air Force unit during World War II. After his discharge in 1946, he joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band. Diz was a profound mentor for Moody both in music and in temperament.

James Moody navigated the tricky harmonics of bebop with ease, but with his ebullient stage presence, he wasn't afraid to move the crowd. He took the standard "I'm in the Mood for Love" and changed it into a completely different tune that became known as "Moody's Mood for Love." A Jazz club classic!

When jazz singer Eddie Jefferson added lyrics to it, including the memorable "There I go, there I go, there I go, there I go ... ," it became a standard. It has been covered by everyone from Aretha Franklin to George Benson to Amy Winehouse and Take 6. James Moody and Nancy Wilson sang it as a duet on an episode of The Cosby Show. Bill Cosby called the tune "a national anthem."

James Moody often played with Dizzy Gillespie as well as leading his own bands. For several years he played in the pit band at a hotel in Las Vegas so that he could raise a family without being on the road all the time.

He will be greatly missed!


James Perkins said...

Thanks for posting this..He will be missed

Simon Bastion said...

I've always loved "Moody's Mood for Love" regardless of who performed it!

Jazzy said...

Damn shame Family...We losin all the greats!

DBH said...

Thanks for posting Keith..I didn't know either.

Yvonne Anderson said...

I love a lot of old jazz..My Father used to play Miles ,Dizzy , all of them.

Sean said...

Good Post!

Brenda said...

You were correct,We have lost a music

Sunflower said...

Thanks for posting..Always loved that song...didn't know about him or the songs origins.

SLC said...

Moody's Mood For Love is my jam from waaaaaaaaay back when Frankie Crocker was the chief rocker on WBLS in New York. He played it every night when he went off the air.

Major music loss.

Moanerplicity said...

Ditto on Brotha SLC's comment. Being a New Yorker, we all knew Moody's Mood For Love as Frankie Crocker's sign-off song, & heard it play every evening. It was the first jazz vocal that I learned to sing by heart. The phrasing was so innovative.

His contribution is HUGE! He will be missed.



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