Right now I'm hoping and aspiring to finally make some money. There's always been a problem, from concerts to clubs, that drummer-leaders have always been a little prejudiced against. Like, look at Roy Haynes. You don't see him playing as much as he should, in Europe particularly no, and he's getting older now, but this is just one example. Generally, this is how it should work, more money 'cash.
AAJ: Do you think that, as a composer and leader as well as a drummer, that this has had a more positive effect on your career?
SM: Oh yeah, I'm a great composer! This is just a statement of knowing how well I can write, but you see at the same time there was this image that avant-garde musicians were ignorant of theory and all of the positive things in music, and when I left Cecil, I really didn't have any music to play. And I said, now what am I gonna play? Am I gonna jump back eight years and play bebop? Which I could, because I'd always go to [bebop] sessions, sometimes even after going avant-garde I'd go to sessions. But I said no, out of all that suffering and hard work, it'd be nothin.' I'm gonna start to write some music. And I wrote from a guitar, from a piano, from almost any instrument I could find, and I used to play the tunes for my children. My first tunes I'd play for my children just before rehearsal, and they'd say 'Dad, that's nice! What is that?' Anyway, I went to rehearsal and played my tunes for the band, and so I began from there and, you know, as a drummer-leader-composer, I have the most compositions in the publishing houses of the world. I have about 69 with SACEM, about 26 or something in Germany, 3 in Italy, two in Switzerland, and this is why I got my lawyer to finally clamp down because I've had a publishing house for about a year and you have the right to reclaim your music with a publishing house. So that's my case: I had become a more prolific writer than I had planned to be.
AAJ: Some of your tunes almost sound like they were written from the saxophone, you know? They're very saxophone-friendly, which is probably appropriate'
SM: That's funny you say that too, because sometimes when I have a gig coming up, I try to write for the cats I'm playing with in the next gig. If we've already played together a few times, I use some older material that they might've heard, but which just seems to be for whoever.
AAJ: Like you recorded Giblet again quite recently, correct?