Still in a state of shock after the awful news yesterday morning that Greg Tate has died. A gigantic figure in criticism - original thinker, dazzling stylist... someone with something unique to say and an unique way of saying it... fearless, daring, always surprising (loved the Van Halen love!), a joy to read on anything and everything... I did not know him really, a few amiable encounters over the years, those left the impression of someone as kindly and gentle in person as he was cool and commanding in print...
It was a thrill when Tate became an early Stateside champion of A.R. Kane (one of his celebrations can be read here, there's another circa 69 that appeared in Village Voice and later in Flyboy in the Buttermilk, which maybe I'll dig out later) and his writing on the electric Miles is the best there ever was.
He wrote about a lot more than just music, of course. But when he wrote about music, it was about more than just music, if you get me.
Here's a review I did in '92 of Flyboy, that only scratches the surface of the greatness of Greg.
Here's the full transcript of Tate's 2004 conversation with Alan Licht for the Wire's Invisible Jukebox series.