Don Pullen and Milford Graves in Concert at Yale University
New York: SRP Records, 1966. VG+. Includes three 8 ½ x 11 in. photo mechanical reproductions of reviews of the album all very good, with foxing and light discoloration. Item #6754
The rare first pressing of the first release by Pullen and Graves’ SRP Records, with photo mechanical reproductions of press clippings, suggesting this example was likely a promotional copy.
Launching SRP (variously referred to as Self-Reliance Program, Self-Reliance Productions, and Self-Reliance Project) and the release of this record was an important moment in the two musicians’ respective careers and a key contribution to the history of autonomous Black cultural production. Graves and Pullen recorded and produced the record themselves, hand-designed the covers, and distributed a thousand copies. The project was to conceive of “a music free of Western tradition,” for which they needed to cut loose from dependence on “RCA and Columbia and those companies.”
Early listeners and critics, such as Amiri Baraka, were quick to note its significance. In a review for the Down Beat, a photocopy of which is included in this example, Baraka praises the spirit of its distribution, and further notes that “Pullen and Graves are making some of the deepest music anywhere. It wants nothing.”
This example includes three Xeroxes of early write-ups and reviews for the record, including Baraka’s aforementioned “A Few Notes On The Avant-Garde” for Down Beat magazine, Bill Mathieu’s later review of the record for Down Beat magazine, and two write-ups from Max Harrison for Jazz Monthly.