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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Last Train From Overbrook - James Moody

Last Train From Overbrook
James Moody
Producer: Dave Usher
Photo & Cover Design: Vytas A. Valaitis
Recording Dates: September 13, 14 and 16, 1958
Recording Engineer: Malcomn Chisholm
Argo LP 637

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art and biographical info.

From the back cover: Jimmy took his first train to Overbrook in April of this year. In talking to him prior to his voluntary commitment at Overbrook, he sounded almost hopelessly drowned in the juice he was hung up with.

While we waited, Moody was pulling himself back toward his justified position as a great and soulful jazz man of our time. Came the end of August, Jimmy called and said he was straight and could I come to New York and talk about making the session we had discussed some month back.

Moody's voice sounded clear over the phone, and I was on my way to see him at Overbrook. Mrs. Ruby Watters, Jimmy's mother, is in my mind his spiritual force. Her trips to Overbrook on the suburban bus from Newark have given him the warmth in saying "my mom" (as corny as it may sound to some).

J. C. Heard and I went back to talk with Jimmy and Dr. Munoz. The corridor between the main building and Ward 33 is where the three of us sat and The Last Train From Overbrook was assigned its cars and was preparing to depart.

After obtaining the permission of Dr. Munoz the session was originally planned for recording in New York, but the arranger that Moody had wanted to work with, was tied with prior commitments. So after some thought, permission was requested for Moody to come to Chicago and Johnny Pate was asked to write the charts. Moody caught a train from New York on Labor Day and was at the studio on Tuesday morning before I got in from Detroit. He was practicing on a flute he had brought with him. We needed a tenor and alto. Through the aid of Johnny Sippel at the Billboard, the Seller Instrument Company provided Jimmy with the horns he needed.

We were entering our third day of recording schedules. Before that, on Friday, we had completed recording the small group side of the Sandy Mossed date (Argo 639) in Chicago. Friday and Saturday nights we recorded the Ahmad Jamal Trio at the Spotlight Club in Washington (Argo 636).

Malcolm Chisholm and I had just deplaned our Capital flight 1 from Washington at 11:12 a.m., at 11:51 a.m. we arrived at our studios, 12:05 p.m. the musicians assembly had made a reality out of its first arrival. By ten minuets to one, Jimmy ascended the musical platform that Johnny Pate had put together in just five days of writing charts and calling the group for the gig.

The rest is for you to judge, the warmth of Moody and orchestra is here for you to listen to.

Jimmy, thank you! – Dave Usher

From Billboard - January 5, 1959: This album celebrates the return to jazz of James Moody, who for the past six months was a patient at Overbrook. The fact that Moody is out and blowing again should please all jazz fans, and the fact that this is a good album should please them even more. Moody is blowing with a big band again, playing alto, tenor and even flute. Tunes include the title song "Don't Worry About Me," "What's New," "Tico Zico," etc. The band swings and Moody is blowin' again. The liner notes are excellent.

Last Train From Overbrook
Don't Worry About Me
Why Don't You - Johnny Pate
What's New
Tico Tico
There She Goes
All The Things You Are
Brother Yusef
The Moody One - Johnny Pate

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