Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Another Jazz Great Passes
Back in 2003 when I still owned Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philly, I was fortunate to meet James Moody. Mr. Moody passed away this week. He was a Sax legend and could blow the Be Bop and Hard Bop with the best of 'em. He toured with Dizzy and played with some smoking hot groups. He even spent time in Vegas as a member of a house band backing up some of the great stage performers of the day. He could also play a mean flute and sing damn well. Between numbers he would tell off color jokes and regale the audience with hilarious anecdotes from his days on the road.
He was featured at my Club for a weekend and packed the joint for 2 nights. He was a true professional and gave every minute of every set.
The truly fond memory I have of this legendary Jazz figure came on his last night. It was time to pay Mr. Moody so I took him back in the office. We paid performers from the cover charge so I handed Moody a large wad of cash. He looked at the roll of bills and then at me. He proceded to grab me and hug me. He then leaned back and said: "Man getting paid like this, with a wad of bread, reminds me of the old days on 52nd street....and damn that's a good memory." He hugged me again and went off to pay his side men. I stood there stunned and smiling...knowing I had just been embraced by one of the greats.
I will miss Moody and his sax riffs and will always remember that hug.