Chapter 6 FB: Thinking back about your student years at Berklee and then at the Conservatory, your studies were mostly geared to individual teachers, but what about the general pedagogical style or mood or outlook from both schools? Could you compare and contrast them at that given time? MP: Well at Berklee I came specifically for arranging, composition, and I don't think there was anything equal to that at that time. And I just mentioned one name that is gonna explain why. Herb Pomeroy. I was lucky to be in Herb's classes- all of them. Line writing, Duke Ellington class, and the last one, writing for composition, composition for orchestra I forgot what it was named. And I was a film scoring major also, so Herb got me into writing every week, and it got easier and easier and easier. The Duke Ellington was so enlightening to me, all of those details that he had in his music which Herb knew, like it was his. And then the final one, being a drummer, I always wrote rhythmical stuff, so as my final project, Herb says to me, okay, now write something for this. And he gives me this tune that he wrote, his original tune, based on 'How Deep is the Ocean'. FB: Oh, so like a smooth ballad, not rhythmic. MP: He called it 'Rock Bottom' and I said, Herb, I, this is like something- (and Herb says), Well, now's the (time). FB: Where are the hooks and the angles in this one, right? Chelsea bridge. MP: So it was quite something. FB: So what did you do? How did you solve it? MP: Well I did my best and he liked what I did. Of course, there was room for improvement but it was something, again, so strong about it that I didn't experience in the conservatory. When I went to the conservatory and wrote myself in those classes with Tom McKinley, orchestration and composition, there was another guy I forgot his name... FB: Hank Kisnetsky? MP: No, (inaudibly lists names) I forgot. FB: Bob Brookmeyer? MP: No no no, some contemporary way of writing, like 20th century music way of writing. Or another course called advanced arranging, nothing came close to what Herb had to say, and what I learned from Herb. And I actually think maybe, because of what I learned from Herb, those things were easy for me. Maybe if I hadn't had that opportunity, maybe I would have appreciated more those courses, but Herb was the man. FB: He made everything else look simple. MP: Now, on the other side, I give creativity to the Conservatory for the instrumental part of it because Berklee, I was so much into the writing, with only half an hour private lessons, there wasn't much time that I could spend on the instrument. Although I was playing sessions at night, but the Conservatory with Moses, less theory courses to do more practical music, to be played. It was a different environment, which I think it benefitted me more on a musical level, for my instrument. So I had a more, let's say, rewarding experience in there. Maybe also because it was a graduate program, so you get deeply more into what my studies were, which was performance studies.