Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A remarkable celebration of the drum
email@example.com | Iowa City, IA | 03/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Grand Unification is a must for anyone who wants to explore the possibilities of the drum. I first heard Milford Graves a few decades ago at a tribute to the late poet Sterling A. Brown, when Graves opened the event witha mesmurizing 15 minute solo performance. Graves, a master percussionist, is rarely heard (except perhaps by those lucky students at Bennington College where he teaches), and those of us who've followed his career over the decades have savored his appearances as a leader and/or collaborator on just a handfull of available recordings. What is especially compelling about this release is Graves' capacity to skillfully blend the rhythms of the world within single passages of the eight compositions represented here. There is always a point when the listener becomes absorbed in his work that one forgets that there is only one drummer at work. Listeners who think that drums belong in the background, or that all has been said in world beat or planet drumming haven't begun to imagine the possibilities of percussion discussions until they grab a copy of this one."
firstname.lastname@example.org | 09/01/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Milford Graves is a true renaisance man. When the "avant-garde" in jazz had assembled itself in the 60's, Milford Graves was one of the first drummers to take that bold step to liberate his instrument from the role of a metric "time-keeper." Unfortunately the extent to which he has contributed and advanced the vocabulary of his instrument can only be matched by the degree to which he remains somewhat of an unknown to the populace at large. In the 60's Graves recorded with Paul Bley, Giuseppi Logan, Lowell Davidson, as a member of the New York Art Quartet and with Albert Ayler. Since then he has been documented seldomly on record. There has been in recent years a multi-percussional recording with Andrew Cyrille, Kenny Clarke and Fomoudo Don Moye ("Pieces of Time" - Soul Note) and a duo album with Saxophonist David Murray ("Real Deal" - DIW) He can not be found performing regularly short of a gig with William Parker and Charles Gayle either in the basement of his home before an audience of students, friends and family or at the annual Vision for the 21st Century Festival in New York. So it goes without saying that this album is indeed a rare treat. This solo recording is about a great deal more than just drumming. Graves is a multifaceted human being who's skills exhaust, though not limited to, the percussionist's arsenal; but also the revered fields of accupuncture, herbalism, homeopathic medicine and martial arts. All of these aspects are components not only to Grave's approach to his instrument, but how he physically deploys his instrument to the task at hand. The music sounds less like a studio session and more like a documentary of a very personal incantation. The listener shouldn't feel compelled to "understand" the material or assimilate it to the confines of a more accessable logic. His prowess is staggering. His sense of time is omnipotent and yet cannot be decoded. This is the work of a master. We're not expected to "get it." We can only marvel at the ability demonstrated. One simply partakes of this work by witnessing and we do this when we listen. I found it to be a most worth-while experience."
Milford Graves is one of the Greatest Musical Forces Alive
email@example.com | New York or Ohio | 12/02/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Milford Graves perform a totally free set with John Zorn last June at the Texaco Jazz Fest in NY. It was my first taste of Milford and I was Blown away by the energy the musicality that Graves expressed. Zorn was okay, but Milford was the one really running the show. I completely lost all sense of what was going on around me. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. This CD doesn't truly capture the wonder of seeing him live, but it's a nice taste of his genius and I love it. It's very difficult to find material with Milford. Although it's out there, not a lot of stores carry stuff with him on it. This CD is a step in the right direction."