Monday August 23, 2010
from Jazz Police
Saxophone Summit: A Salute to James Moody with Alexander, Tabackin, Lovano, Heath, Potter 8/24-29
By Ronaldo Oregano
The top saxophonists in jazz today are gathering at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York to pay tribute to saxophone legend James Moody, who is currently recovering from gall bladder surgery. Moody, who played with Dizzy Gillespie’s band for almost 50 years, is known for his classic improvisation “Moody’s Mood for Love.” His band, the James Moody Quartet, will be joined by saxophonists Eric Alexander and Antonio Hart, plus special guests Chris Potter on Tuesday, August 24th Jimmy Heath on Thusday, August 26th, Lew Tabackin on Friday, August 27th, and tenor titan Joe Lovano on Sunday, August 29th.
One of the surviving champions of Dizzy Gillespie’s music, James Moody is an accomplished musician on the tenor and alto saxophones, as well as the flute, despite being born partially deaf. In addition to his instrumental prowess, Moody is an engaging entertainer, captivating audiences with his personal charm and wit.
Although born in Savannah, he was raised in Newark, New Jersey. His interest in jazz was sparked by a trumpet-playing father who gigged in the Tiny Bradshaw band, and he took up the alto sax, a gift from his uncle, at the age of 16. His first musical training came in the Air Force, and after leaving the service in 1946 he joined the Dizzy Gillespie big band, staying until 1948. Gillespie became his musical mentor. In 1949, he moved to Paris for three years, often playing with visiting American musicians, including the Tadd Dameron- Miles Davis band.
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