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The next few months I'm working on my project- I've picked 6 specific players who have mastered both saxophone and flute, and who seemed to do some ground breaking stuff on flute to bring that voice to the next level in jazz history.

James Moody is the one I'm looking at now. Any advice on recordings, best solos to transcribe, transcriptions I can analyze, interesting biographical info., photographs, books,articles, etc. would be much appreciated.

I'm listening to his records and reading some biographical stuff. He was raised by a single mother and his absent father was a trumpet player. James Moody was partially deaf. Like Frank Wess, he played in the military band, including in an unauthorized "***** Air Force Band". He met Dizzy during this time and later joined his band. Also like FW, he was influenced by Lester Young (and the whole Basie band).

There was great social upheaval going on, which was the context of his personal and musical development. As a result, he experienced racism to the point that he decided to move to Europe. Then "I'm in the Mood for Love" was recorded. It's interesting that he borrowed an alto (he typically played tenor), and so he was fishing for notes on the solo, which makes me wonder if that made this famous solo on it more interesting. He was one of the players exploring this "new" style of bebop. "Moody's 'Emanon' solo with Dizzy's band was very exciting to all the saxophone players around Philadelphia. It was very different than typical blues solos.

He moved back to the U.S. eventually, wanting to promote his music, and formed a septet that integrated R&B and recorded his first record wih flute, Flute n' the Blues. Although never studying flute formally, he just said he was helped on flute by "many beautiful people". He also had some three tenor shows with Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt during the 50's. After getting alcohol treatment at Overbrook Hospital, he recorded Last Train From Overbrook, which I have yet to listen to, and shows his development and agility on flute.

In the 60's he rejoined Dizzy, worked on Coltrane harmony, and went to Vegas and played with people like Elvis for several years. He later did a record with Manhattan Transfer and a tribute record to Henry Mancini.

He got married to his third wife in 1989. Dizzy was the best man and played Con Alma when they walked down the aisle! Another interesting James Moody fact is that he was fluent in Italian, and he was in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Here's a video of my college big band (University of N. Florida) with James Moody- can't believe I found it on Youtube! I was 2nd alto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyut40TtA2o
 

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I read a Mike Longo interview or article... from the time of Moody's death. Might be in that article or another place on the internet is Longo's eulogy for Moody. Longo lays out a lot of info about Moody.
There is also a James Moody interview/article... from Downbeat? I remember him stating with extreme modesty or even self-criticism "Well, I am a fairly good flute holder..." Something to that effect... He didn't see himself as accomplished on flute.
Use the search tool on here. Look for "Downbeat"... There is an ongoing post from a guy who was scanning/archiving Downbeat interviews and blindfold tests. I think that is where I found some of that Moody stuff.
Also, if you haven't got it, get Dizzy's autobiography "To Be, or Not... To Bop". There is quite a bit in there about Moody but it is must reading just in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
https://youtu.be/H4hjSJcPf90

Big moody fan, this is great...it's also on an album, I'll post link
Beautiful! Dizzy is too much! James Moody's flute sounds so refined for not being "formally" trained- these "beautiful people" who taught him must have been great teachers.
 

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Beautiful! Dizzy is too much! James Moody's flute sounds so refined for not being "formally" trained- these "beautiful people" who taught him must have been great teachers.
Ya I've always thought his sound was pure , even when he gets into the fast articulation he manages to keep focus... Never gets blowy.. Was this a Haynes ?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It kind of sounds like he's double toungueing on those double time lines and not slurring, which seems different than how he executes those kinds of lines on saxophone. I'm trying to compare how these players solo on each horn. Thanks for that one!

Schlockrod: A very humble attitude he had for sure (about his flute playing)- his technique was superb! I also think I have an old edition of that "Saxophone" magazine (I think that's what it was called- do they still make that?) somewhere- the one that featured different players and transcriptions if I recall- there was one that featured him I think- I'll for that and check out Downbeat's articles. :)
 
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