Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

298

James Moody: 4A

By

Sign in to view read count
In the late '40s, saxophonist/flutist James Moody staked his claim on the jazz landscape when he gained prominence as one of the key ingredients of Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra. Nearly six decades later, at the age of 84, Moody shows no signs of slowing down. He's in excellent form on his latest release 4A.

On 4A, Moody stretches out on eight standards, getting solid support from Kenny Barron (piano), Todd Coolman (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums). "Secret Love" opens the disc with a martial drum march before segueing into a laid-back, mid-tempo groove. Everybody shines on Barron's "Voyages," as close to 'modal' as they get on the set. Two ballads represent the highlights of the disc: "'Round Midnight" and "East of the Sun." Moody and Barron—collaborators from decades back—sync up to create an atmosphere ranging from heartbreaking to romantic. A few more mid-to-up-tempo numbers round out the set, notably "Bye Bye Blackbird" and Benny Golson's "Stablemates."

Moody and Coolman, along with pianist Renee Rosnes and drummer Adam Nussbaum, set up shop at New York's Iridium for a four-night run early in August, 2009. A late Friday night set kicked off with "Have You Met Miss Jones," Moody playing with a level of intensity unexpected from an 84-year-old. Nor would one expect such razor-sharp wit; he told two jokes during the set: the first a racially-tinged joke about an African zebra and then a lighthearted jab at Catholicism.

Along with Moody's comedy cavalcade, he also brought out the flute for a noir-ish exercise in some back-alley blues. The entertainment continued when Moody seemingly began a scat-driven performance of his famous "Moody's Mood for Love." However, after some humorous vocal noodling, Moody segued into a version of "Pennies From Heaven," but with the lyrics drastically changed, altering the theme to "Benny's From Heaven." The group closed with its theme: an abbreviated version of Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas."

Track Listing: Secret Love; Voyage; 'Round Midnight; Without a Song; Stella By Starlight; East of the Sun; Stablemates; Bye Bye Blackbird.

Personnel: James Moody: sax; Kenny Barron: piano; Todd Coolman: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.

Title: 4A | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: IPO Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Christmas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Good Merlin" CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Lantern" CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!