Tracking The Odds: Milford Graves
90.7-FM in NY's Upper Hudson Valley and wgxc.org/listen everywhere
wavefarm.org/listen and 1620-AM at Wave Farm
Produced by Roulette Intermedium.
Performances and commentary by Milford Graves (1941-2021), recorded at Roulette in 2012-13 with bassist William Parker and friends. A percussionist, herbalist, martial artist, programmer, professor, and pioneer of free jazz, Graves was a member of the New York Art Quartet, whose iconic first recording in 1964 featured a reading by Amiri Baraka. In 1967, he played at John Coltrane’s funeral. A consummate autodidact with a syncretic approach, in 1972 Graves invented a martial art form called Yara based on the movements of the Praying Mantis, African ritual dance, and Lindy Hop. In 1973 he joined the Black Music Division at Bennington College, where he taught for 40 years. In 2000 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study human heart vibrations and better understand music’s healing potential. Plus a bonus track from the 1977 album, Meditation Among Us.
Tracking The Odds: The Roulette Concert Archive is a monthly hour-long radio special produced by Roulette Intermedium (roulette.org) and broadcast in partnership with Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM and Standing Wave Radio. The broadcasts feature selected highlights from Roulette’s New York experimental music space dating from the early 1980s to the present. Thousands of rare, formative, and often unheard recordings by innovators and adventurous musicians populate the archive. Tracking The Odds airs the fourth Monday of the month from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is archived at wavefarm.org.
Founded in 1978, Roulette operates a 400-seat concert hall on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn with a focus on experimental and unorthodox music and performance across all genres and media. It's archive of thousands of audio and video recordings is currently being restored.
Pictured: A screening, reading, and performance for Henry Hills' film "Money" at Roulette (1985) with dancer Pooh Kaye surrounded by (L-R) John Zorn, Tom Cora, Ciro Baptiste, (obstructed, possibly Sally Silvers), Abigail Child, Diane Ward, Susie Timmons, Alan Davies, Bruce Andrews, Ikue Mori, Jim Staley, Butch Morris. Photo: Lona Foote.