James Moody passes to the Abha Kingdom

Moody & me at his 80th birthday

Jazz legend James Moody passed away Thursday 9 Dec, after a bout with cancer.  His wife Linda was with him and reported that Moody (as he preferred to be called) had the pleasure of seeing many family and friends before his passing and experienced the joyful arrival of his great grandson on Oct 22.

Here’s a link to a >> video with a recording << of one of his marevllous Jazz renditions.  Moody played with Dizzy Gillespie and many many other Jazz greats.  I had the pleasure of attending his 80th Birthday party (5 years ago) hosted by Bill Cosby. Moody played with the energy and precision of a man half his age.

I first met Moody about 14 years ago in CA when his wife Linda became my Real Estate agent. My heart goes out to her, and to the Baha’is who knew and loved him as a brother, and to the world of Jazz which has lost a giant.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist

What’s New with the Crew

As the holiday season descends upon us (with both feet) I thought I would take a moment to share some news I’ve gleaned from many of you.

First up – Chris Ruhe . See the sidebar for Chris Ruhe’s free offer.  If you send an email to him, he will provide a collection old Baha’i songs that he recorded.  He realized that many of our younger musicians might never have heard some of the songs Baha’is sang together back when he was young (and Methuselah led the choir). 

While we were reveling in the atmosphere of Bosch back in October, singer/songwriter/life-coach Laura Harley and her husband Teddy were enjoying the addition of a baby boy to their family! Daniel arrived on Oct 20 (the birth of the Bab) – good timing kiddo!! Congratulations mom and dad!

Then there’s news from Robert Gillies who just distinguished himself again as a stellar songwriter by earning one of 20 honorable mentions in the USA Songwriting Competition with ‘Saturday in June’ – a song he is about to release as a single along with Dating with a Checklist”.  As an interesting promotional idea, Robert has launched a contest on Facebook asking his fanbase to submit artwork for the two songs.  Neat idea Robert!

I believe I mentioned before that Tyler Thompson has been selected to join the 2011 world tour of “Up With People”.  He needs to raise a lot of money to pull it off and his seeking sponsorship.  He has recently recorded some promotional videos of shows he’s done recently including this one at the Lighthouse for the Blind in El Paso

Walter Heath has pulled off an amazing feat! He has recorded, not one but TWO CDs of devotional music in record time!   They are called “Prayers and Passages (Vols. I and II)” and are released as a fundraiser for restoration of the Shrine of the Bab.  Have a listen and purchace here>>http://www.heathsongs.com/ShrineofBabFundraiser.html

And Kelly Snook has returned to the USA!! – She and husband Caeli Lohr will be living in “a beautiful row house” in Washington DC.   Welcome home.

Speaking of “welcome”, let me welcome aboard Phil Morrison – a world class jazz bassist and composer to our Music Industry Weekend family.  Phil has recently formed the World Unity Jazz Ensemble (WUJE) with his long time collaborator Keith Williams.  The two won a song contest for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and garnered a lot of favorable press for their jazz fusion of the orient and the occident in jazz.  I noticed on the WUJE website that our friend Jamie Findlay is credited for guitar work.

If you have news to share, I’d love to hear it. And take a moment to check out our “Artists Links and blog” page – some of you have changed your sites and not told me so you might have a broken link on that page.

Take care and have a great winter season.

Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist