• WBGO's Love For Moody Week

    December 23, 2010. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    WBGO Executive Director Cephas Bowles (left) showing some love for James Moody

    WBGO dedicates this week of programming to the memory of Newark native and jazz luminary James Moody, who passed away Thursday, December 9 at the age of 85.

    UPDATE: The final segment of our James Moody tribute airs tonight at 8 p.m., 88.3 on your fm dial. Or, have a listen to it here:

    As Becca and Brandy have mentioned previously, this week will feature some of our favorite Moody memories as we close out the 2010 broadcasting year (and look forward to Toast of the Nation.)

    Tonight at 6:00 p.m., we will air a special edition of JazzSet, recorded for Moody's 80th birthday at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 2005. It features some other heavy hitters, too, including Slide Hampton, Paquito D'Rivera, Roy Hargrove and Mulgrew Miller. The show will re-air on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

    Tomorrow at noon (right after the news) we will follow up with Piano Jazz, featuring an interview with Moody and the show's always-lovely host, Marian McPartland.

    On Thursday, we close out our special coverage with a compilation of Moody interviews from our extensive archives, edited by Simon Rentner. The hour-long feature begins at 8:00 p.m.

    Follow the links below for more WBGO coverage celebrating the life and music of James Moody:

    Doug Doyle remembers Moody for the WBGO Journal

    Becca Pulliam pulls some Moody music from the WBGO archives

    Eulus Cathey interviews Moody in 2009:

    Josh Jackson pays homage to Moody on The Checkout

    Finally, a video produced by Josh Jackson and Dan Karcher:

    WBGO has been truly blessed by Moody's presence for many years -- we're sad to see him go, yet so fortunate to be able to honor his legacy. Join us this week as we celebrate the life of one of one of New Jersey's greatest contributions to jazz history. Please, feel free to share your favorite Moody memories in the comment section below.

  • James Moody on Piano Jazz

    December 16, 2010. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    As part of WBGO's Love for Moody Week, we will broadcast a repeat of Moody's performance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz.

    James Moody (2007 by Tom Pich, courtesy NEA)

    NEA Jazz Master James Moody was a saxophonist and flutist who got his first big break playing with Dizzy Gillespie in the 1940s. He continued to work with Gillespie and other greats throughout his long career.  On this Piano Jazz session from 1997, Moody performs his "Moody's Mood For Love," "Con Alma, " and "Giant Steps." James Moody died earlier this month after battling pancreatic cancer.

    Tune in Monday, December 20 at 12:08pm (just after the news) to hear this classic Piano Jazz on WBGO.

  • Moody's Mood from 12/31/84 - counting down to Toast of the Nation

    December 15, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.


    WBGO has been co-producing live all-night cross-country New Year's Eve specials with NPR since at least Dec 31 1982. 

    In 1984, James Moody opened his live NYE set from Sweet Basil in NYC with "Moody's Mood."  He sounds fabulous from the git-go.  I don't know why (I think it's the rhythm in which he delivers them) but my favorite five words are always ".. and then the girl says .."

    Harold Mabern, Todd Coolman and Eddie Gladden are on piano, bass and drums.  More great live NYE moments to come. Check back often, and tune into the broadcast this New Year's!

  • James Moody (1925-2010) on Big Apple Jazz

    December 10, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    We've learned of the death of NEA Jazz Master James Moody, an essential artist and WBGO's friend, who coincidentally was raised in Newark.  His music lives in and on the air here.

    On November 20th, 1982, at Sweet Basil and our series Big Apple Jazz (before my time at the station), saxophonist Moody vocalized (don't miss his entrance .. well, you can't) and played flute on the Jobim bossa nova "Wave."

    The piece comes to mind because of a quote in the New York Times obituary by Peter Keepnews, who writes, ". . . in the mid-1950s [Moody] became one of the first significant jazz flutists, impressing the critics if not himself. 'I’m not a flute player,' he told one interviewer. 'I’m a flute holder.'" (emphasis added)

    Decide for yourself please.  The group is Harold Mabern, piano;  Rufus Reid, bass; and Michael Carvin, drums.

    The Guardian (London) notes that JM ". . . saw a tribute to his remarkable flute improvisation with the publication in 1995 of James Moody's Greatest Transcribed Flute Solos," and goes on to say that  in early 2010,  Moody and his wife Linda "founded the James Moody scholarship fund for Newark youth in the town where he was raised."

    On Sunday 12/19 at 6pm and Wednesday 12/22 at 6:30, JazzSet will re-broadcast Moody's 80th birthday party at the Kennedy Center. A great party!

  • Amy's Moodys

    July 27, 2008. Posted by Amy Niles.


    I have had the good fortune to have been surrounded these past two years at WBGO by some of the greatest players in jazz. That's what you come to expect when you are a part of the world's most significant jazz radio station. But it's the people who have touched me for more than the music that they create who truly are a part of my heart.

    I  love  the Moodys- James and Linda Moody.

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