A different Moody recording. No tricks. No cute stuff. No movie music. No clowning. Just serious, seamless ideas and a bared soul. This is Moody singing through his horn, and each song hits you as if you're hearing them for the first time. It's amazing what happens when tempos are reigned in and a song's beauty speaks for itself. The most remarkable track on this CD is East of the Sun. It features only Moody and pianist Kenny Barron, who is a legend in his own right. Taken at a pace close to Parker's Mood, Moody digs in deep here, channeling Sarah Vaughan's 1950 version for Columbia. What surfaces is one of the most beautiful instrumental versions I've heard in some time. You get to hear how well-rounded Moody's tone has become and how tasteful Barron continues to be. They're so good, in fact, that an entire album of Moody and Barron duos would be most welcome.
Moody 4A (the first release form a two-day session - Moody 4B is yet to come) shows the talented, yet somewhat overlooked saxophonist still playing great and sounding fabulous on tenor... this recording takes Moody back into the world of straight-ahead standards, with results so warm and joyful as to be taken to heart by the listener.
-- Jazz Chicago
Because James Moody’s career coincides precisely with the history of modern jazz, where you came in on one is where you came in on the other.
-- Jazz Times
There are so few of the true jazz masters left - those that began their careers in the 1940s and endured and prospered through swing, bebop, cool, hard bop, fusion, and into contemporary jazz genres. You can probably count them on your fingers and toes and be done. .. But we still have James Moody... 4A is four veterans sharing for nearly an hour their greatness for a jazz public, who knows that it is uncertain that we will have new generations of jazz musicians as dedicated to their craft as to play for over half a century, and still be able to bring their “4A” game.
-- Audiophile Audition
James Moody. Here's an artist that established himself as a prime exponent of the Bop tenor (with Dizzy Gillespie's band) and has been going strong ever since. More than 60 years on the stand, in the studios. That's amazing enough. But listen to his latest album, 4A (IPO). He sounds beautiful... Hearing James Moody playing so well is an experience akin to having Abraham Lincoln still around to re-deliver the Gettysburg Address with undiminished oratory power... listen to this CD. You'll be the better for it.
-- Gapplegate Music Review
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