Chapter 5 FB: And then, after you got out of here, you went to the conservatory. MP: New England Conservatory I went there for my Master's Degree. The reason I went there was because I wanted to study with Bob Moses. I saw Bob playing at The Willow with this band called Open Sky, Eddie Gomez and Dave Libman. And I was impressed by the way Moses was playing so loose, and at the same time, so intense, and you could still feel the pulse, although he wasn't playing. So I went to him and I said, "Bob, I want to study with you, I want to learn how to play like you play." And he said "Well, I'm going to be teaching at New England next year, so why don't you come." And it worked out for me, because at the time I needed a Visa to stay, so after my (inaudible) ran out, my student visa from Berklee ran out, after my graduation. I applied to New England Conservatory, to study with Bob, gave me the new Visa, so I decided, okay, I'm just gonna go for the Master and see what happens. And then eventually it did help because it got me a job here. FB: Did you ever join the union? MP: Musician's union? No. FB: But you still managed to gig under the cover. MP: Well the gigs that were union gigs were mainly the ones at those hotels. FB: Theaters... MP: I've never done any theaters, just hotels. The Copley Plaza, where Dave McKenna was playing, or Ray Santisi, but as far as the clubs, Riles, 1369, (Inaudible) Pub, do you remember (...) Pub? FB: Sure. Zurcheim. Those little places. MP: Those were not union gigs. I had a student, Dave Douglas, we did some (...) Pub gigs. FB: I probably saw you there, it would be early 80's. MP: Yep, '83, '84. FB: Yeah I'm sure I saw you there. I definitely remember San Davis' group and Tiger Okoshi's group, Tiger's Bakku (?) and a lot of cool bands, I know I saw Dave there, you were there too. MP: So at New England I did 2 years, my experience was Bob Moses changed my way of playing, radically. FB: Tell me how. Just, in a few words. MP: Because he made me aware of rhythmic concepts that I wasn't aware of, and it made my playing better and I could, basically I was able to free myself from playing time, and still keep the idea of the pulse going, which is a way of, let's say, it's a more modern way of playing the drums. Difference between say, Max Roach or Jack DeJohnette. FB: And Paul Moshen (?). MP: Paul Moshen, yes. FB: What do you mean, what kind of rhythmic concepts, I mean, just for the laymen, what can you say? MP: The non-independent style, for instance, which was a way to play using your limbs and when a limb is playing the other one doesn't play. In a way you can call it linear drumming, but studying with Bob it was more than just linear, because it wasn't just one line, but sometimes playing in harmony as he called it. So you play something that doesn't require independence because sometimes the figures are in unison, therefore creating harmonies. More than one sound. FB: This includes the feet as well. Hi-hat, bass drum. MP: Yes, all four limbs. So the overall sound that you get out of the drums, it's a four part musical thing that sounds like it's played all at once. But really, when one plays the other one doesn't play, and sometimes something could be in unison, so it gives almost an illusion to be playing at the same time with some sort of independence. But there's no independence involved. So that was quite new to me. FB: I see, I get a vague idea, that's all we need for the general public. Is it too soon to talk about how you apply your drum style to ensemble? Should we do that later or do you want to get into that a little bit? MP: We can do it. Basically, drum style, uh, in my ensembles I do basically what I play, I teach the music that I play, so stylistically, if there is something that I don't know, or I don't play, it won't be something I'll be presenting to my students. So if I know something for a drummer to play to support a band in a certain style I will demonstrate that to him or her. And the rest of the players in the ensembles, I might be specific for some players, telling them what part to play, the pianist, the bass, and some of the time, the instruments that I don't know, maybe guitar, I might refer the students to their private teacher. So, my experience as a performer, is basically what I try to bring to the class. So it doesn't really limit myself just to the drum style but it's more, it's a wider concept as a musician from the things that I hear, that I've heard in my career, mentioned by players I play with when sometimes the piano player is saying something to the horns, or the horn player is saying something to the rhythm section. All those things that stick into my memory, and might make a difference for young student like it did for me. FB: So you were at the conservatory for 2 years, you studied with Moses, you met and worked with other people like (Inaudible) Miroslav, the great Czech bass player who was not only a terrific musician, but was also a dean on the faculty there. MP: He was the chairman of the Jazz department, Jazz Studies department. Miroslav, I was thrilled of course to be with him. I studied with him one semester, he was conducting this big band, but then I finally got the call to play with him in '87, so that was after my years at New England Conservatory. And he called me, and Aidan Essen. Terrific Turkish pianist. FB: Who also went to school here for awhile, a couple years. MP: Yes. And we toured Europe, playing Miroslav's music, played with Woody Shaw. And I feel so lucky about that because it was maybe 10 months or a year before he died and he's always been one of my favorite musicans. FB: Remarkable sound and compositions. MP: Compositions. I think Miroslav's gig was my first big gig that I got. Big name. ANd that was also an effect of recording it, we recorded our own, it's my only record as a leader, co-leader, with Eddie Gomez, who I got in touch with through Bob Moses, that's another great thing he did for me. Since I saw Bob playing with Eddie, I said to Bob, I'd like to do a recording with my friend Eidan, and we'd like to call Eddie Gomez. Do you think he'll be available, can you get me in touch with him? And he said, yeah, he wouldn't do this with somebody he doesn't know, but I'll make sure that he's gonna do it with you because I'm going to talk highly about you, and he did. So Bob was a great help for that production of that record. So when Miroslav heard that record I think he got jealous. So there's no way I'm gonna have those guys playing with Gomez, I'm gonna steal them. We weren't playing with Eddie Gomez Trio anyway, but he liked what he heard, and he called us right after that. It was nice.