The Rifftides staff almost let March 26 go by without acknowledging that this is James Moody’s birthday. The master of several saxophones and the flute was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. At 21, following his tour with the US Air Force, Moody joined Dizzy Gillespie’s trailblazing 1946 big band. In the late forties, with a group of Swedish all-stars, he recorded “I’m In The Mood For Love.” His solo on the single became a hit record in Sweden, then in the United States, with a lyric added by King Pleasure, as “Moody’s Mood For Love.” Throughout his career Moody was one of Gillespie’s closest colleagues, co-starring in the trumpeter’s quintet in several of its incarnations and frequently put together with Gillespie in all-star groups. Here, videotaped for a PBS Soundstage broadcast in 1975, we briefly see Gillespie after he has announced Moody. We see and hear Moody; Al Haig, piano; Ray Brown, bass; and Kenny Clarke, drums—a convocation of bebop giants. The video is slightly fuzzy. The sound is not.
James Moody, 1925-2010.