These earliest sessions recorded by saxophonist James Moody under his own leadership, follow his initial years with Dizzy Gillespie, an association that would be maintained off and on throughout Dizzy's life. The disc starts in chronological order with eight sides recorded for Blue Note in October 1948. Arranged by composer Gil Fuller and backed by Moody's Modernists, which were, in essence, musicians comprised of Dizzy Gillespie's band including baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne, alto saxophonist Ernie Henry, Chano Pozo, and Art Blakey. These sessions were recorded in New York before Moody left for Europe, not to return to the states until years later. The remaining 14 tracks find him jamming with European musicians and fellow American expatriates including fellow tenor saxophonist Don Byas, mixing bebop and standards recorded in Zurich, Paris, Lausanne, and Stockholm for Vogue, Blue Star, and Prestige.
by Al Campbell
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