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James Moody Dies

James Moody Dies - Celebrated jazz saxophonist and flutist James Moody died of pancreatic cancer at a hospice in San Diego, his wife, Linda, said.

Moody was 85.

"He couldn't have gone more peacefully," his wife told The San Diego Union after his death Thursday.

Moody had battled cancer for 10 months, she said.

The musician had decided against receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment, a New York Times report said.

Moody started his career with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie shortly after World War I and continued performing well into the 21st century. He was known for his distinctive sounds and was equally fluent on both tenor and alto saxophone, a relatively rare accomplishment in Jazz.

James Moody Dies

Moody was also known for his self-effacing humor.

"I'm not a flute player," he told an interviewer. "I'm a flute holder."

His peers and critics found his talent exceptional.

In a 1980 review, Village Voice critic Gary Giddins praised Moody's "unqualified directness of expression" and said his improvisations were "mini-epics in which impassioned oracles, comic relief, suspense and song vie for chorus time."

James Moody Dies

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