Milford Graves
August 20, 1941




Milford Graves
Milford Graves (born August 20, 1941 in Queens, New York is an American jazz drummer and percussionist, most noteworthy for his early avant-garde contributions in the early 1960s with Paul Bley and the New York Art Quartet alongside John Tchicai, Roswell Rudd, and Reggie Workman.

He is considered to be a free jazz pioneer, liberating the percussion from its timekeeping role. In fact, many of his music contemporaries, musician inspirees, and fans world-wide would argue that Graves is perhaps the most influential known musician in the development and continuing evolution of free-jazz/avant-garde music, to date.

Milford Graves taught at Bennington College, in Bennington,Vermont, being a tenured professor from 1973 to 2011; in 2011, he is awarded Emeritus status.

Initially playing timbales as a kid growing up in Queens, Graves has worked as a sideman and session musician with a variety of jazz musicians throughout his career, including Pharaoh Sanders, Rashied Ali, Albert Ayler, Don Pullen, Kenny Clarke, Don Moye, Andrew Cyrille, Philly Joe Jones, Eddie Gomez, and John Zorn.

He has invested his time in research within the field of healing through music.
















1. Message to the Ancestors 0:00
2. Blessing from the Rain Forest 9:54
3. Nagarah 15:59
4. Rejuvenation 19:06
5. The Soul Is the Music 24:18
6. The Substance of the Vision 31:48
7. Call and Response 38:57

Andrew Cyrille: tom tom, gongs, whistles, hand clapping, words, phonetics, tympani, osi drum, cymbals, castanets, temple blocks, agogo bells, chimes, foot rhythms, drum responses with audience

Milford Graves: phonetics, bongos, darabukkeh, whistle, gongs, osi drum, galloping, tympani, cymbals, balafon, agogo bells, bells, tambourine, shekere, African talking drum, mnemonics, antiphonal caller with audience

This album, produced by Andrew Cyrille and Milford Graves, is the result of a working musical association between the two men going back to April of 1969. Since that time the two men have coordinated and performed concert hall engagements, cultural center appearances, and performed a work for NBC Television. It should also be noted that on most of these occasions the efforts and talents of the brilliant drummer, Rasheid Ali, were also incorporated.Acknowledgement should also be made to pianist, composer, Cecil Taylor whose program for the musical arts in New York City during January 1974 - accomplished at Columbia University's Wollman Auditorium, aided in the realization of this recording.

Label: IPS (Institute of Percussive Studies) / IPS ST001 (1974)








Milford Graves - Joe Lovano




















































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