James Moody, the jazz saxophonist best known for his hit "Moody's Mood for Love," has died. He was 85.
Moody died Thursday from pancreatic cancer at a hospice in San Diego, Calif., The Associated Press reports.
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A native of Savannah, Ga., Moody got his start in 1946, playing with Dizzy Gillespie
. He did his first recording in 1948 and a year later reinterpreted the 1935 classic "I'm in the Mood for Love" with "Moody's Mood for Love." The song became a jazz and pop standard, having been recorded by everyone from Aretha Franklin to Amy Winehouse, and was elected into the Grammy Awards' Hall of Fame in 2001.Moody's other honors include being named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1998 and receiving the 2007 Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend award. He has also been inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame.His last album, Moody 4B
, recorded in 2008 and released this year, earned him a Grammy nomination earlier this month for best jazz instrumental album.
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In his later years, Moody performed with the James Moody Quartet and regularly played with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars Big Band.He is survived by his third wife, Linda; daughter Michelle Bagdanove; sons Patrick, Regan, and Danny McGowan; brother Lou Watters; four grandchildren and one great-grandson.