Biographical / Historical
James Moody was born in Savannah, Georgia, and grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania and Newark, New Jersey, where he learned to play the saxophone. He added the flute later in life. He served in the Air Force during World War II, where he belonged to a military band, and during this time he met Dizzy Gillespie, who was giving a performance at his base. He joined Gillespie's band for a couple of years after getting out of the service in 1946, and the two developed a strong friendship and working collaboration that lasted until Gillespie died in 1993. In addition to his frequent recording and tours with Gillespie, Moody had a series of jazz acts with whom he recorded and toured; he performed as a back-up act in Las Vegas, and worked with many notables, including Dinah Washington, Benny Golson, Tito Puente and Quincy Jones. His credits include over fifty albums, such as the highly acclaimed Henry Mancini tribute album "Moody Plays Mancini," and a small role in the 1997 film, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." His honors include Grammy nominations (1985 and 1990) and a posthumous Grammy award in 2010, induction into the International Jazz Hall of Fame, and his selection as a 1998 NEA Jazz Master.