James Moody dies at 85

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#1 Fri, 2010-12-10 13:35
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James Moody dies at 85

SAN DIEGO =E2=80=93 Jazz saxophonist James Moody is best known for his 1949= "Moody's =0AMood for Love," but when he recorded the hit that eventually w= as elected into =0Athe Grammy Awards' Hall of Fame, he said, he was just "t= rying to find the right =0Anotes."=0A"When I made that record, I was a teno= r saxophonist playing alto for the first =0Atime on record and I was trying= to find the right notes, to be truthful. People =0Alater said to me: 'You = must have been very inspired when you recorded that.' And =0AI said: 'Yeah = I was inspired to find the right notes!'" Moody told the San Diego =0AUnion= -Tribune in February.=0AThe song was later recorded by Aretha Franklin, Van= Morrison, Amy Winehouse and =0Aothers. Bill Cosby, a longtime fan and conf= idante, called it a "national =0Aanthem."=0AOn Thursday, Moody, who recorde= d more than 50 solo albums as well as songs with =0Athe likes of Dizzy Gill= espie and B.B. King, died at San Diego Hospice after a =0A10-month battle w= ith pancreatic cancer, his wife said. He was 85.=0A"James Moody had a sound= , an imagination and heart as big as the moon. He was =0Athe quintessential= saxophone player, and his 'Moody's Mood for Love' will =0Aforever be remem= bered in jazz history side by side with Coleman Hawkins' classic =0A'Body a= nd Soul,'" friend and collaborator Quincy Jones said in a statement =0AThur= sday. "Today we've lost not only one of the best sax players to ever finger= =0Athe instrument, but a true national treasure."=0AHis last album, "Moody= 4B," was recorded in 2008 and released in 2010.=0AMoody was nominated for = four Grammies. He received a 1998 National Endowment for =0Athe Arts Jazz M= asters award and a 2007 Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend award. =0AHe has = also been inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame.=0AMoody was "a= titan of our music" who was "just impeccable, his musicianship, his =0Asou= l, his humor," Wynton Marsalis said.=0A"Moody's Mood for Love," his interpr= etation of the 1935 ballad "I'm in the Mood =0Afor Love," was recorded in S= weden. In 2001, it was elected into the Grammy =0AAwards' Hall of Fame in 2= 001.=0AMoody sang the song with Nancy Wilson on an episode of "The Cosby Sh= ow" in the =0A1980s. Cosby also featured the song in the 2004 movie "Fat Al= bert."=0A"He has taught me integrity, how to express love for your fellow h= uman beings, =0Aand how to combine and contain manhood and maturity," Cosby= told the San Diego =0AUnion-Tribune.=0A"James Moody is one of the blueprin= ts that you measure yourself up against," =0Asaid Laurie Ann Gibson, creati= ve director for Interscope Records and =0Achoreographer for several lady Ga= ga music videos.=0AMoody, born in Savannah, Ga., joined Dizzy Gillespie's a= ll-star big band in the =0A1940s. He was featured in the first episode of t= he PBS series "Legends of Jazz," =0Aand walked an invisible dog in the 1997= film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and =0AEvil" when he was cast by long= time fan Clint Eastwood.=0AMoody performed on stages around the world, incl= uding the White House, Carnegie =0AHall, the Hollywood Bowl and London's Ro= yal Festival Hall. His last public =0Aperformance was Jan. 28 at a Grammy-s= ponsored show in Seal Beach.=0AMoody's talent wasn't confined to jazz =E2= =80=94 he was a member of the Las Vegas Hilton =0AOrchestra in the 1970s, s= haring the spotlight with everyone from Glenn Campbell, =0ALiberace and the= Osmonds to Lou Rawls and Elvis Presley.=0AMany of those artists sang "Mood= y's Mood for Love."=0A"James Moody is one of the blueprints that you measur= e yourself up against," =0Asaid Laurie Ann Gibson, creative director for In= terscope Records and =0Achoreographer for several Lady Gaga music videos.= =0AA public funeral service is scheduled Dec. 18 at Greenwood Memorial Park= , =0Afollowed by a public celebration of his life at Faith Chapel in Spring= Valley. =0A=0AMoody is survived by Linda Moody, his third wife; daughter M= ichelle Bagdanove; =0Asons Patrick, Regan and Danny McGowan; brother Lou Wa= tters; four grandchildren =0Aand one great grandson. =0A