Jazz sax, be-bop legend James Moody dead at 85
Saturday 11 December 2010
Jazz saxophonist and flute player James Moody, who helped create the be-bop style of the 1940s, died Thursday from pancreatic cancer in San Diego, his wife said in a statement. He was 85.
"My sweet, darling, precious husband died today at 1:07 pm (2107 GMT) after a 10-month fight with pancreatic cancer," said Linda Moody.
"Because my greatest wish was to ensure that Moody transitioned peacefully and quietly, we have been at San Diego Hospice and Institute for Palliative Medicine since last Monday," she added.
Moody was considered a jazz legend, having assisted the birth of bebop along with other such musical greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Max Roach, Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk.
Best known for his hit "Moody's Mood for Love," he began his musical career playing in the US Air Force band during World War II. After his discharge, he joined forces with Gillespie, whom he called his jazz role model, and recorded his first session in 1948.
"Moody had two goals," his wife said. "One, to go to a special friend's wedding on 10/10/10, and two, to see his great-grandson born on October 22nd.
"He made both of those goals and even came to Thanksgiving dinner long enough to tell the family how much he loved all of them."
A public funeral for Savannah, Georgia-born Moody will be held December 18 at San Diego's Greenwood Memorial Park.
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