Bob Moses is pretty much one of the most underrated drummers in the United States. Having been a drummer for decades, he is recognized for the adventure he brings to drumming, making him a composer in his own league. Bob has played with some of the very best instrumentalists including Rahsaan Roland Kirk when he was still a teenager and American jazz vibraphonist, Gary Burton. Also known as Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, the drummer is also a poet and a dancer.
Bob Moses Biography
Even though the American jazz drummer is popular as Bob Moses, it is as Robert Laurence Moses that he was born in New York City on January 28, 1948.
He started out as a drummer when he was still a very little child. At the time, his parents had friends who were musicians, hence they influenced him to start liking music. Most important among them was swing music 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.
As his interest in the instrument continued to grow, his godfather gave him an experimental set that had a thin bass drum. Describing the instrument much later, Moses said he has never seen a thing like it. After the set was given to him, he immediately fell in love with drumming for the first time before hearing the legendary American jazz drummer and composer, Max Roach, who was also his father’s friend. At that point, he knew there was no going back for him with the instrument.
In his career that has spanned many decades, Bob Moses has worked with many stars including Rahsaan Roland Kirk from 1964 to 1965. He later formed the Jazz fusion group The Free Spirits together with guitarist Larry Coryell in 1965. The band did not last a very long time as it finally came to an end in 1968.
When he started his career with his first band, they performed in a club in New York which was known as The Scene. Unfortunately, the band did not make any significant money there. In fact, it only managed to make only 10 dollars each night. Before it came to an end, The Free Spirits released two albums – Out of Sight and Sound and Live at the Scene both in 1967.
His next band was Compost which had people like Jumma Santos, Jack Gregg, Jack DeJohnette, and Harold Vick as its members. The jazz fusion band released two albums; their eponymous debut album Compost which is also known as Take Off Your Body in 1971 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 leader and co-leader include Bittersuite in the Ozone in 1975, Family in 1979, Spirit Renewed (1982), and When Elephants Dream of Music in 1982.
He has also released different 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 was coming up, Bob Moses rebelled against any form of formal training. However, he spent a year under a classical teacher Morris Goldenberg who put him through on things like reading, a little xylophone, and snare drum techniques, but that did not help with the jazz that he was interested in. He also tried a number of other teachers without any success.
2. Ra Kalam Bob Moses is also a teacher
Beyond just being a drummer and a composer, he is also a teacher who conducts workshops in the United States and also in Europe. In addition to that, he works at the jazz faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.
3. He is also an author
The great drummer published a book titled Drum Wisdom in 1989. The book is pretty much popular among drummers.
4. He has a very private life
Bob Moses leads a very private life so much that information such as his personal life, relationships, children, and other such details are not available in the public domain. In addition to that, his net worth remains unknown, even though it is believed that he is doing very much for himself in almost all regards.