Black Editions Archive is ecstatic to announce the next chapter in the Milford Graves Archive series, the double LP Children of the Forest, previously unreleased 1976 sessions with Hugh Glover and Arthur Doyle that re-write the book on Milford Graves' ensemble music of the 1970s. Graves recorded these sessions himself in his legendary Queens basement laboratory and workshop in the months immediately leading up to the March 1976 session that produced what many consider his most iconic album, Bäbi, recorded at WBAI-FM Free Music Store with Glover & Doyle.
Following the death of Albert Ayler in 1970 and up until his storied trip to FESTAC 1977 in Lagos, Nigeria, Graves gigged fairly often as a band leader in the New York Loft scene and traveled twice to Europe (1973, 1974) with duos, trios and quartets comprised of fellow New York City based musicians —almost always with Hugh Glover, and variously including Arthur Williams, Joe Rigby, Frank Lowe, & Arthur Doyle. The three sessions that comprise Children of the Forest date from near the end of this intensive period of grassroots activity by Graves during a peak era of musical & cultural ferment in jazz & Black American Music.
The earliest recordings feature the duo of Graves (drums & percussion) and Glover (tenor saxophone) from January 24th, and Graves solo (drums & percussion) from February 2. In an interview commissioned for this release and conducted by Jake Meginsky, director of Milford Graves Full Mantis, Glover discusses the mastery of form and execution in Graves' playing and approach: "It has always been a mystery to me how Cuban drummers in Bata were able to modulate the rhythm and the meter. Well, it takes more than one player to do it Cuban style. Prof (Graves) shows you can do it as one player. The reason he’s able to do it is because he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the rhythms of the Caribbean, rhythms of Africa, plus rhythms of jazz. He can move around without losing the feel.”