GH: I think Louis Smith went to Michigan. Well anyway they got together and played. So, that was a nice... Then we went to Notre Dame jazz festival that was kind of nice one of my first inklings that Boston was a jazz Mecca which it certainly is. It goes very deep.
FB: Berklee bands would show up and play and compete there.
GH: Yeah actually Herb Pomeroy showed up leading a band from MIT.
FB: Oh those guys.
GH: I was like who's this mad professor who's conducting and leading all this wild music. And all the music was written by Berklee students or Berklee people. So, the music was very different very...it grabbed you in a certain way. It was like advanced Duke Ellington or Mingus and a lot of nice improvisational moments. And then of course when I was in high school and early college. You know I heard about Berklee through the records. The Jazz in the Classroom series. You could by the LPs
FB: Right. Herb and Joe Viola and all that set.
GH: In fact they're collector's items today. I have a lot of the old albums. You can buy the scores so you can... I started writing at an early age also. I just had no idea what I was doing. I'm not sure I still do. You just sit at the piano and you write what you hear.
FB: Small band stuff big band stuff? a little of everything?
GH: When I started it was everything. Small band. I wrote for my high school dance band. We had a dance band I wrote for my high school concert band. The director yeah I'd bring stuff in oh that's ??? He didn't know what to say about it. But he let me play it and I got to conduct it. So I just started writing when I was in high school.
FB: You finished the chart yourself or did you get someone help you orchestrate it?
GH: I did it all myself.
FB: Oh my gosh.
GH: Yeah no fear. When you don't know the rules you can't break them.
FB: Ok. Is that what you tell them now?
GH: I do. That's my first rule in writing music is that there is no rules. As long as you hear it. If you hear it, learn how to write it. Then if you're really hearing it then that means you like it or you want it to come out of your head. So then you make up your own rules. That's what all great composers do. Bach didn't write by any rules. But people make rules out of what he wrote. They're not really rules they're like guidelines or parameters. Yeah I like the music of Samuel Barber lately. I've been studying his music.
GH: It's very melodic.
FB: Very much so.
GH: Yeah and very poignant and moving. Anyway, I digress. What were we talking about? Oh yeah.
FB: No that's good I like Samuel Barber and I like Henry Call and Roy Harris. Big time.
GH: Oh yeah. Charles Ives was a big influence.
GH: I got to play some of his stuff and he was such a free spirit.
GH: And his father taught him how to play. And he would make him play intentionally a half step away from the melody. He'd make him sing. He'd do all this really fancy advance ear training things to train his ear. And he certainly took it a different direction when he wrote. Very individual.
FB: All that intense counterpoint coming in from different directions.
GH: Yeah. So Detroit was really a vibrant music scene in those days. I used to played in 2 or 3 different concert bands, a couple of symphony orchestras. Then I'd do... I'd play in dance bands on Friday and Saturday night. Then we'd sneak out of high school to go down to Detroit to go down to jazz clubs and we'd hear all these groups.
FB: Was there a 21 year limit?
GH: Oh yeah yeah. They'd just say sit in the back. Sit in the dark. 'cause we stuck out.
GH: 'Cause a lot of times we'd go to all black clubs and here's two or three white kids. 18 19, 14 eyars old sit in the dark. Okay we'll sit over there. We didn't drink... too much. And it was a great scene. And yeah the nucleus.. I mean the whole thing about motown was that it was rhythm and blues great rhythm and blues kind of gospel music out of the church. And then they added 10-12 horns so it was a real big band experience. And the charts weren't very complicated. It was really...
FB: Right. Riffs and little blues lines.
GH: Yeah. Some nice harmonies but it gave an impact. All these horns. And then three or four people dancing and singing in front 3 or 5 rhythm players always a B3 organ. And actually it wasn't as loud as you'd think because it was acoustic sounds. They didn't like the horns. And they played acoustic guitar. That was before all the technology took over in the amplification.