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Musician

Milford Graves

Born:

Milford Graves was into his own version of World Music long before there was the term. His individualistic approach to the rudiments of drumming and its rhythmic pulses were light years ahead of most musicians. Yet he found musical colleagues and an audience for his forays into the deep end of free jazz. A native New Yorker, and exposed to Latin rhythms, he started out as a child on congas, then became a teenage timbales player in a Latin band from 1959 through the early ‘60’s, Graves switched to a trap set after seeing Elvin Jones with Coltrane. From 1964 he was an essential member of the New Thing movement in New York City, and backing up Amiri Baraka's Harlem poetry readings. Graves became a devout student of percussion on an international level, and went on to study not only its African roots and development, but expanded his studies on the Indian tablas with acknowledged master Wasantha Singh. He had quite an extensive resume in the 1960’s playing with Hugh Masakela and Miriam Makeba, Giuseppi Logan, was a member of the Jazz Composers’ Orchestra Association, and collaborated with avante-garde pianist Paul Bley. Graves recorded with pianist Don Pullen in 1966,(Graves Pullen Duo) and worked recurrently with Albert Ayler in 1967 and 1968, performing at the 1967 Newport Festival

Album

Sacred Ceremonies

Label: TUM Records
Released: 2021
Track listing: Disc 1: 01-03 Nyoto 1-3 / 04 Baby Dodds In Congo Square / 05 Celebration Rhythms / 06 Poetic Sonics / 07 The Poet: Play Ebony, Play Ivory (For Henry Dumas). Disc 2: 01 Ascending the Sacred Waterfall - A Ceremonial Practice / 02 Prince - The Blue Diamond Spirit / 03 Donald Ayler´s Rainbow Summit / 04 Tony Williams / 05 Mysterious Night / 06 Earth - A Morning Song / 07 Minnie Riperton - The Chicago Bronzeville Master Blaster. Disc 3: 01 Social Justice - A Fire for Reimagining the World / 02.Myths of Civilizations and Revolutions / 03 Truth in Expansion / 04 The Healer´s Direct Energy / 05 Waves of Elevated Horizontal Forces / 06 An Epic Journey Inside the Center of Color / 07 Ruby Red Largo - A Sonnet.

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Article: Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith with Milford Graves and Bill Laswell: Sacred Ceremonies

Read "Sacred Ceremonies" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


As he approached his eightieth birthday, Wadada Leo Smith could have been content to sit out the year of nothingness that Covid-19 brought in 2020 and beyond. With his 2013 Pulitzer Prize nomination, a 2016 Doris Duke Award, and nearly one-hundred recording credits, the trumpeter & multi-instrumentalist has landed at the top of countless polls throughout ...

24

Article: Building a Jazz Library

Instrumental Duos

Read "Instrumental Duos" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The early days of jazz were not always harmonious. Converted dance orchestras often sounded like unbalanced acoustic junkyards; a single violin, cornet, trombone, clarinet, tuba, drums, banjo, and piano, all fighting for attention. The piano was meant to be the glue holding the shrill and boisterous elements together. In 1921 a prodigy pianist named Zez Confrey ...

1

Article: Radio

A Tribute to Chick and Milford

Read "A Tribute to Chick and Milford" reviewed by Bob Osborne


This show honours two great figures in jazz who passed away recently. Chick Corea, an outstanding pianist and a great composer, and, Milford Graves a master percussionist, who was one of the giants of the improvised music community. I have selected music from across their respective careers as a tribute to their contribution to music.

4

Article: Album Review

Derek Bailey / Mototeru Takagi: Live at FarOut, Atsugi 1987

Read "Live at FarOut, Atsugi 1987" reviewed by Mark Corroto


To listen to Live at FarOut, Atsugi 1987 is to apply the field of evolutionary biogeography to the world of jazz. Consider the unique evolutionary paths of the creatures on the isolated Galapagos islands and you have the basics of biogeography and its study of the distribution of species and ecosystems. Then there is another type ...

11

Article: Interview

Dave Liebman: Placing Free Jazz and the Avant Garde in Musical and Historical Perspective

Read "Dave Liebman: Placing Free Jazz and the Avant Garde in Musical and Historical Perspective" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Like free jazz, this interview arose spontaneously from an informal “how are you doin'" telephone conversation between saxophonist Dave Liebman and All About Jazz contributor Vic Schermer. Schermer phoned Liebman to compliment him on his new e-book The Art of Skill: Establishing the Mindset for Unleashing the Music Inside You published by Michael Lake, and how ...

4

Article: Album Review

Juozas Milašius / Tomas Kutavičius / Dalius Naujokaitis and Lithuanian Young Composers Orchestra: Live at Willisau, 1993

Read "Live at Willisau, 1993" reviewed by Vitalijus Gailius


Juozas Milašius, Dalius Naujokaitis-Naujo and Tomas Kutavičius were the most provocative figures on the Lithuanian scene in the 1990s. Playing bebop or following the Ganelin Trio tradition was not the their thing back then (and it is not in 2021 either). They played passionately and intensely and beyond genre boundaries. Stories about destroyed pianos and audiences ...

11

Article: Book Review

Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker

Read "Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Universal Tonality: The Life And Music Of William Parker Cisco Bradley 384 Pages ISBN: # 978147801014 Duke University Press 2021 Who is William Parker? He is a jazz bassist, yes. But he is also a band leader, composer, writer & poet, community organizer, peace activist, and cultural anthropologist. Cisco ...

4

Article: Live Review

Andrew Cyrille Quartet at Village Vanguard

Read "Andrew Cyrille Quartet at Village Vanguard" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Andrew Cyrille Quartet Village Vanguard New York, NY August 21, 2020 Drummer/composer/bandleader Andrew Cyrille opened this livestream from the venerable Village Vanguard jazz club speaking about the oddness of playing to an empty room, noting the absence of applause at the end of numbers. Or booing: “I've been booed, too" he ...


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