Bob Moses (musician)

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Bob Moses
Background information
Birth nameRobert Laurence Moses
Also known asRa-Kalam Bob Moses
Born (1948-01-28) January 28, 1948 (age 76)
New York City, U.S.
GenresJazz, avant-garde jazz
Years active1964–present

Bob Moses (born January 28, 1948)[1] is an American jazz drummer.


He was born in New York, United States.[1] Moses played with Roland Kirk in 1964–65 while he was still a teenager.[1] In 1966, he and Larry Coryell formed The Free Spirits, a jazz fusion ensemble, and from 1967 to 1969 he played in Gary Burton's quartet, including drumming for the Grammy-nominated album Gary Burton Quartet in Concert.[1] He played on the landmark 1967 Burton album A Genuine Tong Funeral, but due to creative disputes with the album's composer Carla Bley the drummer was credited as "Lonesome Dragon".[2] Moses and Bley would later reconcile and he became a vocal booster for her music.

Moses recorded with Burton in the 1970s, in addition to work with Dave Liebman/Open Sky, Pat Metheny, Mike Gibbs, Hal Galper, Gil Goldstein, Steve Swallow, Steve Kuhn/Sheila Jordan (from 1979 to 1982), George Gruntz, and Emily Remler (from 1983 to 1984).[1] In the early 1970s he was a member of Compost with Harold Vick, Jumma Santos, Jack Gregg and Jack DeJohnette.[1]

His first release as a leader was 1968's Love Animal. His second release was 1973's Bittersuite in the Ozone. His records for Gramavision in the 1980s were critically acclaimed.[1]

He is the author of the drum method book Drum Wisdom.[3]

Moses performs alongside John Lockwood, Damon Smith, Jaap Blonk, Don Pate, and John Medeski with guitarist Tisziji Muñoz and teaches at New England Conservatory.

In 2022, he recorded a trio album with the Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen and Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon entitled Pure and Simple.


As leader[edit]

  • Bittersuite in the Ozone (Mozown, 1975)
  • Tributaries with Richard Sussman, Andy LaVerne (Inner City, 1979)
  • Family (Sutra, 1980)
  • When Elephants Dream of Music (Gramavision, 1983)
  • Visit with the Great Spirit (Gramavision, 1984)
  • The Story of Moses (Gramavision, 1987)
  • Drumming Birds with Billy Martin (ITM, 1987)
  • Wheels of Colored Light (Open Minds, 1992)
  • Time Stood Still (Gramavision, 1994)
  • Devotion (Soul Note, 1996)
  • Love Everlasting with Tisziji Muñoz (Amulet, 1999)
  • Nishoma (Grapeshot, 2000)
  • Love Animal (Amulet, 2003)
  • Meditation On Grace with Michel Lambert (FMR, 2008)
  • Father's Day B'hash (Sunnyside, 2009)
  • The Illuminated Heart (Ra-Kalam, 2012)
  • Ecstatic Weanderings with Greg Burk (Jazzwerkstatt, 2012)
  • Ultra Minor with Jon Catler (FreeNote, 2018)

With Compost

The Free Spirits

As sideman[edit]

With Gary Burton

With Michael Gibbs

  • In the Public Interest (Polydor, 1974)
  • Directs the Only Chrome-Waterfall Orchestra (Bronze, 1975)
  • Big Music (Venture, 1988)
  • By the Way (Ah Um, 1993)

With Steve Kuhn

With Dave Liebman

  • Drum Ode (ECM, 1975)
  • Homage to John Coltrane (Owl, 1987)
  • Spirit Renewed (Owl, 1991)

With Steve Marcus

  • Tomorrow Never Knows (Vortex, 1968)
  • Count's Rock Band (Vortex, 1969)
  • The Lord's Prayer (Vortex, 1969)

With Tisziji Muñoz

  • The Paradox of Independence (Anami Music, 2014)
  • When Coltrane Calls! Session 3: Living Immortality (Anami Music, 2015)
  • Scream of Ensoundment (Anami Music, 2017)

With others


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1761. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ Ethan Iverson, A Lifetime of Carla Bley, The New Yorker, May 13, 2018
  3. ^ Moses, Bob; Mattingly, Rick (1984). Drum Wisdom. Modern Drummer.
General references