FB: So, you also said that some of the guys were dabbling with folk traditions. They were adapting Jazz to Sicilian folk music, which, to me was fascinating. MP: Yes, Claudio Rocassio was, at the time, one of the first maybe two guys to implement folk traditions in Jazz. There was another guy, Giorgio Cassellini, doing it at a more national level, meaning that he was using folk tunes from all over Italy. Claudio was more into Sicilian folk songs and making them into Jazz, with Jazz arrangements. And that was pretty big at that time. There was a period three or four years where it was really going strong. FB: This seems to be a really natural way for Americans to really personalize their Jazz. Yes, the Americans come over and give all kinds of influences and they bring the American stuff and the blues. But when the Europeans get it, then they start bringing their own traditions in. Bruno Rayburg with his Swedish folk songs, John Sermon with the English tradition. Cassellini, everybody can have their own little corner of the world. Some of the Neopolitan guys were adapting, was it Tina Fricana? MP: I'm not sure about that. FB: Some of those other horn players- Claudio Fazzoli? MP: Claudio Fazzoli was with Benny Jao (?), which was a prominent band in the 70s, mixing up Jazz, Rock, Blues. That was a great brand with Bruno Berriaco on drums, who was one of my teachers in some of my clinics that I've done as a late teenager. Franco D'Andrea was the piano player, Giovani Del Maso bass player. They were so big they toured the States, Canada, they came here to record. At the time for an Italian band to cross the ocean and being recognized in here was quite a big deal. FB: Absolutely. You mentioned a big Jazz Seminar in '77 in Montegatini put on by Acte? MP: Archi. Archi was a cultural organization. And they put together this first Jazz seminar in Italy, first one of its kind. 1977. The teachers were young lions of the Italian Jazz scene. My first drum teacher, Andrea Chantatzo was there, Enrico Pierranunci on piano, they had Giancarlos Chiaffini. FB: The Roman trombonist, about six foot six, very pale, looked like a ghost, had big glasses, and played like crazy. MP: Crazy, I remember. I still remember this concert that he did, it was played by himself and pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape, so we're talking about some ancient stuff. And in this pre-recorded tape he had some crazy sounds- electronic music and he was improvising on top of that. And it was quite amazing, what he did. Gianluigi Travesi was teaching bass clarinet and saxophones. Eugenia Colombo, if I remember correctly, it's been so long ago. I think I mentioned everybody. And that was quite an experience for me. I took a train from Palermo with six or seven other young Sicilian players. We all slept in one wagon, for a trip that lasted almost 22 hours. Strikes were going on very strong at that time as well. But we finally got there and it was such an experience for us, because it was the first time we could be next to professional playaers, who we could understand. Because going to see the guys at the brass group in Palermo, I didn't speak English, they didn't speak Italian, and so it was very hard to communicate. Although once, that's a nice thing, Max Roach came to town. I was 18, and he played for the Brass Group, they took him to dinner after the gig, and I was following all the entourage. I sat at the end of the table and then when the dinner was finished, everybody was leaving, I finally got the courage to introduce myself to Max, and there was another guy kind of translating as well. I told him I was a drummer and I asked him for, I was crazy about him, and I asked him for some exercise to develop my independence, I wanted to work on independence. So he sat down- now everybody else was leaving and they were calling him, Max the car is waiting- he took the time to sit down in front of me, five minutes, he puts his hands like this, and he said "put your hands like this, so you can feel me" and he starts tapping on my hands. Something for the ride, something for the snare, and he was tapping his feet and he gave me this exercise that I'm still practicing. Max, he spent five minutes. So going back to Montegatini, it was good to now be able to talk and ask questions and have time to develop a relationship and go through some material longer than five minutes. Those seminars were lasting for a about a week. FB: It reminds me of the keenness of mind that I noted when I saw groups of young Italian students coming to the Berklee workshops at the Umbria Jazz in '86 and '88 when I was there, also with Manhattan School of Music, up at Bassano del Grapa, guys coming in with a lot of music history- Classical, Jazz, with a little bit of Rock, but they keyed right into what was being taught and they were like sponges, picking up all that John Riley or Ron Savage or whoever was happening to have to teach them. You come from a rich tradition of music, whether it be band music, military music, opera, Folk music, and this is all part of your background. Then when you find yourself playing Rock and Jazz, you can put it into the big cauldron in your brain and make it really into something new. MP: It's what open musicians do. Getting elements from all over the world, musically speaking, and trying to put them together. Sonny Rollins did this recording with this Sardinian bagpiper. He was just a shepherd. He didn't know Sonny Rollins and I don't think Sonny knew about him or what he was going to play. But they just said, let's play, and Sonny said, "you play your thing, I'll just follow you, then I'll play my thing" and an LP came out some time in the 70s, or yeah, Coltrane did it with the Oriental influence.