Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Africanist Scholar, Africanist Saint

Any amateur Africanist who craves more knowledge than is dreamt of in Ronnie Graham's philosophy will want to check out the almost 5500 bibliographical references indexed in John Gray's African Music (a mere $55 from Greenwood Press, 88 Post Road West, Box 5007, Westport CT 06881, 800-225-5800). A "nonaffiliated, non Ph.D'd researcher" who runs the Black Arts Research Center (30 Marion Street, Nyack NY 10960, 914-358-2089), Gray thanks the two count-'em two musicologists who responded to his request for a full personal bibliography (let's hear it for Charles Hamm and Christopher A. Waterman). Maybe if amateur (and professional) Africanists inundate the Black Arts Research Center with their own lost outpourings, they'll make a revised edition inevitable. Of course, they may also make it totally impossible, but the man's a saint for getting this far, and with saints you never know.

Village Voice, 1990