Greg Tate , 1957-2021

Nelson George remembers Greg Tate, who died yesterday at age 64. Encountering Tate’s work in the Voice during the ’80s—encountering his voice—was an excursion into new modes of thinking, writing, and listening. So much beautiful, mind-bending wordplay (which, trust me, is not faint praise; it’s the door to the building). In George’s words, Tate “understood rhythm, metaphor and hyperbole like a master musician does harmony, timber and tone.” I purchased more than a few records over the years based on things Tate wrote, but of greater lasting value was the way he helped me hear in new ways stuff I thought I already knew.

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