Bob Moses is pretty much one of the most underrated drummers in the United States. After decades of being a drummer, he is recognized for the adventure he embarks upon in drumming, which makes him a composer in his own league. Bob has played with some of the very best instrumentalists, including Rahsaan Roland Kirk when he was a teenager and American jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton. Also known as Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, the drummer is also a poet and dancer.
Bob Moses Biography
Although the American jazz drummer is popular as Bob Moses, he was born as Robert Laurence Moses on January 28, 1948, in New York City.
He began as a drummer when he was a very young child. At that time, his parents had friends who were musicians, so they influenced him in such a way that he began to like music. The most important among them was the swing and jazz drummer Ed Shaughnessy, who was also his godfather. The drummer was the first person to give Bob his first drum (a tom-tom) when he was only 10 years old.
As his interest in this instrument grew, his godfather gave him an experimental set with a thin bass drum. When Moses described the instrument much later, he said he had never seen anything like it. After the set was given to him, he immediately fell in love with drumming for the first time before he heard the legendary American jazz drummer and composer Max Roach, who was also a friend of his father’s. At that time he knew that there was no way back for him with the instrument.
In his decades-long career, Bob Moses worked with many stars such as Rahsaan Roland Kirk from 1964 to 1965. Later, in 1965, together with guitarist Larry Coryell, he founded the jazz fusion group The Free Spirits. The band did not last very long when it finally came to an end in 1968.
When he started his career with his first band, they performed at a club in New York known as The Scene. Unfortunately, the band did not earn any money worth mentioning there. In fact, they only managed to make only $10 every night. Before it ended, The Free Spirits released two albums in 1967 – Out of Sight and Sound and Live at the Scene.
His next band was Compost, which included people like Jumma Santos, Jack Gregg, Jack DeJohnette, and Harold Vick. The jazz-fusion band released two albums: their 1971 debut album of the same name, Compost, also known as Taking Off Your Body, followed by Life Is Round in 1973.
Together with Larry Coryell, Steve Swallow, Keith Jarrett, and Jim Pepper, he released his first album Love Animal in 1968. His other works as director and co-director include Bittersuite in the Ozone 1975, Family 1979, Spirit Renewed (1982), and When Elephants Dream of Music 1982.
He has also released several works with Tisziji Muñoz, Brian Landrus, Darius Jones, David Friesen, and Franco Ambrosetti as a sideman.
Facts About The American Drummer
1. He had no formal training
When he emerged, Bob Moses rebelled against any form of formal education. However, he spent a year under the classical teacher Morris Goldenberg, who taught him things like reading, a little xylophone, and snare drum techniques, but that didn’t help him with the jazz he was interested in. He also tried a number of other teachers, without success.
2. Ra Kalam Bob Moses is also a teacher
He is not only a drummer and composer but also a teacher who conducts workshops in the United States and Europe. He also works at the Jazz Faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.
3. He is also an author
The great drummer published a book in 1989 entitled Drum Wisdom. The book is quite popular among drummers.
4. He has a very private life
Bob Moses leads a very private life, so information such as his personal life, relationships, children and other such details are not publicly available. In addition, his net worth remains unknown, although it is believed that he does a great deal for himself in almost all matters.