Moody’s Mood (for Love) is part of the 1980 album “Give Me the Night” by George Benson. Originally, “Moody’s Mood for Love” is jazz saxophonist James Moody’s 1949 instrumental solo based on Jimmy McHugh’s 1935 song “I’m in the Mood for Love” with lyrics later added by Eddie Jefferson. King Pleasure eventually released a very popular vocal version in 1954. Other artists who later released renditions of the song include Van Morrison, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah, Tito Puente, Kermit Ruffins, The Ray Gelato Giants, Amy Winehouse, Mina and Georgie Fame. In 1995 Quincy Jones released a multi-harmony version of the track with his album Q’s Jook Joint featuring the artists Take 6 in collaboration with Brian McKnight. The song also has been featured on an episode of The Cosby Show, as well as in an early 1990s Gap television commercial.
George Benson (born March 22, 1943)is a ten Grammy Award winning American musician, whose production career began at the age of twenty-one as a jazz guitarist. At various points along the four-decade continuum of George Benson’s career, he has been heralded as a jazz guitarist of unparalleled chops, a vocalist with great emotional range and sophistication or a combination of both. However, he regards himself as an entertainer in the broadest sense of the word – a singer of songs, a spinner of tales.
More than forty years after Benson cut his first recordings, could the songs ever become repetitive? Could the stories get old? “If they did, I would be the first to know,” he says, “because I get bored quickly. If that ever happens, I’ll find something else to do. But it has yet to happen, and it never will. Music is too incredible of an experience for me. There’s always someone new coming along with a fresh idea that turns the music inside out and changes the way we listen and think. There’s always someone out there – someone we’ve never even heard of yet – with a new song and a new story.”
In 2009, Benson was recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as a Jazz Master, the nations highest honor in Jazz. In the fall of the same year, Benson finished recording a new album titled Songs and Stories. The album is a collection of tunes penned by some of the most prolific and enduring songwriters of the last half-century, including James Taylor, Smokey Robinson, Lamont Dozier, Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway and several others. Some were written specifically for this new recording, while others were hand-picked by Benson for their ability to convey simple but universal truths about the human experience.
George and his wife Johnnie have been married since 1965.