Label: Superior Viaduct
Preorder: due on/around late October
Bomb! ** Sourced from the master tapes. First-time vinyl reissue ** Groundbreaking early work from drummer Milford Graves and pianist Don Pullen – a set of long, free improvisations that were originally issued on Graves' Self-Reliance Productions label! The music is even more striking than sounds from the time on the ESP label – and also really predates some of the freer work of this type from the European scene – as Graves is a monster on the drum kit and a range of percussion, reaching out with this scope of sound and deft command of his hands that's simply breathtaking – matched by energy from Pullen that really surpasses some of his later work too – almost Cecil Taylor-like vibes at points, mixed with other elements that are in a more familiar mode for the pianist.
In his 1967 DownBeat review of the initial release, Amiri Baraka wrote: "The music is beautiful on this album... These two players... are making some of the deepest music anywhere. It wants nothing." Peter Margasak included the album in his list of "Favorite Albums of 2020," and wrote: "Essential coupling of two insanely rare duo albums from a 1966 concert at Yale University: Pullen at his most ferocious and probing, Graves making a huge step in establishing his radical approach to polymetric movement."
In a review for Point of Departure, John Sharpe commented: "The five pieces represent a true dialogue... Although intensity levels vary, the exchanges remain resolutely non-melodic and non-metric throughout... Even after all this time the music still challenges preconceptions. It remains a classic of the genre and deserves to be widely heard."