Art Works Blog

NEA Jazz Master James Moody (1925-2010)

Washington, DC

James Moody. Photo by Tom Pich

James Moody was a highly accomplished musician on the tenor and alto saxophones, flute, and later vocals. A champion of Dizzy Gillespie's music and an entertainer par excellence, he captivated audiences with his personal charm and wit. He led his own ensembles, was a consummate soloist, and member of all-star touring units. Known to all as simply "Moody," he has given us many musical memories, most notably his rendition of "Moody's Mood for Love." Demands for his musicianship extended to college campuses where he was a much sought-after teacher. He was designated an NEA Jazz Master in 1998. We at the NEA, like many others around the world, mourn his passing while we celebrate his extraordinary life.

Moody talks about how he would like to be remembered in this audio clip from the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Project. For the complete interview, please visit the Smithsonian Jazz website.

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