Milford Graves (1941–2021) was a revelatory force in music beginning in the mid-1960s, liberating the drummer from the role of time-keeper to instrumental improviser. A pivotal figure in the free jazz movement, he created groundbreaking work with Albert Ayler, the New York Art Quartet, Min Tanaka, and John Zorn, and led the way in artistic self-production. But his kaleidoscopic genius was not bound by music, and it led him to develop an oeuvre unprecedented in its breadth—from healing arts to botany, cardiac research to martial arts.
This fully illustrated catalogue includes documentation from the exhibition A Mind-Body Deal, including hand-painted album covers and posters, idiosyncratic drum sets, recording ephemera, multimedia sculptures, photographs, costumes, and artifacts from his scientific studies. This first-ever overview of Graves as a creative polymath attempts to unlock his unique habitat by gathering his intricate, multifaceted work and exploring the practices and predilections of this extraordinary jazz mind.