Moody was born March 26, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia. He joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1943 and played in the “Negro band” on a segregated base until he was discharged in 1946. In 1948, he relocated to Europe because he had been “scarred by racism in the United States.”
In 1952, Moody returned to the U. S. and over his career recorded more than 50 albums, including “Moody’s Mood For Love” (1952), which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001 as a recording of “qualitative or historical significance,” “Feelin’ It Together” (1973), “Moody Plays Mancini” (1997), and his last album, “Moody 4B” (2010), which was nominated for the Grammy Award for the Best Jazz Instrumental Album.
In 1998, the National Endowment for the Arts designated Moody a NEA Jazz Master, the highest honor the United States bestows on a jazz musician. In 2005, Moody established the Moody Scholarship Fund at the Conservatory of Music at the State University of New York.