• 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!

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