Greg Tate’s Essays

Never mind the ill-designed cover (horrendous use of typography and colors), Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America is packed with Greg Tate’s ingenious criticisms ranging from music (jazz, funk, punk-rock and hip-hop) to book to film. No matter what materials he chooses to write about, Tate’s bold approach, thoughtful thinking, and creative writing, take his pieces beyond the aesthetics of the artwork and delve into social, political and racial awareness. Yet, his passion and appreciate for music is what I admire his writing the most. On “Cecil Taylor’s Monster Movie,” Tate writes, “One reason I’m writing about a record 10 years old rather than reviewing Cecil’s new Garden—as I’d originally intended—is that while I’ve heard of Solo’s story so many times I could recite chapter and verse, I realized Garden’s four sides would require years of digging before I could hum a few bars.” And I must admit, I have to read some of his essays twice to full absorbed his points. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on Flyboy in the Buttermilk 2. Hopefully, the cover design will be improve on the new book. Although readers should never judge a book by its cover, a well-designed front enhances his impression, if not his credentials.