James Moody Biography

26 February 1925, Savannah, Georgia, USA. Beginning to play saxophones in his mid-teens, Moody developed his abilities as an instrumentalist during a spell in the American armed forces. Discharged in 1946, he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band (on tenor saxophone), later touring Europe (mostly playing alto saxophone). His 1949 recording of ‘I’m In The Mood For Love’ became a hit three years later and greatly enhanced his reputation at home and abroad. During the 50s he led a number of small groups, some of which were R&B-orientated, and recorded several sessions for Argo Records. In the 50s he also began to play the flute. By the 60s he had become a major figure on the US club scene and the international festival circuit, and played in a three tenor band with Sonny Stitt and Gene ‘Jug’ Ammons. He played with Gillespie again between 1963 and 1968, and occasionally thereafter. An able and melodic soloist on all three of his instruments, Moody is especially effective on ballads. He continued to release excellent sessions into the 90s on the Novus label.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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