Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"As on '4A', the quartet digs into the stuffing of cool, with an easy chemistry happening between the band as they tackle nine beautiful, classic melodies. This music simply sounds like good jazz should." -All About Jazz
Personnel: James Moody (tenor saxophone); Kenny Barron (piano); Lewis Nash (drums).
Liner Note Author: Ira Gitler.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (07/21/2008-07/22/2008).
Photographer: Nick Ruechel.
Recorded a day after the initial session that became the album 4A, James Moody convened the same band to document 4B, a collection of standards and two originals by pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Todd Coolman, respectively, with drummer Lewis Nash also in for the ride. Moody plays tenor sax exclusively in a mellow, swinging temperament that suggests he's done with bop from a speed point of view, but not melodically or harmonically. Even-keeled and cool, the band effortlessly wends its way through these familiar songs with supreme confidence and a sharp wit. Moody is supremely polished and graceful, with no wasted effort or notes on classic ballad fare, and an easygoing version of Tadd Dameron's "Hot House." There's a bit of samba or light tango, the Asian modal piece of Barron's "Nikara's Song," and the unison play between the piano, bass, and tenor sax during Coolman's "O.P.'s Delight" that mix things up. Moody commands great respect from his sidemen, and they are just too good and literate to be denied high accolades. Perhaps a safe concession to mainstream jazz, it's also very enjoyable for across-the-board audiences to recognize that James Moody has still got it, approaching his ninetieth birthday. ~ Michael G. Nastos