Flirtations with Chaos:
The Life and Work of Robert Palmer
“Don’t worry, I know everything”: That’s the way music critic Ira Robbins once described the tone of Bob Palmer’s writing to me. We both laughed when he said that, because his statement perfectly got at Palmer’s ability to mix erudition with ease, to reassure his readers with his confidence and command. But, despite the arrogance that remark might imply, Bob was never showy about his knowledge. In a style that blended elegance and hipster enthusiasm, he would travel deeper and deeper into his subject, bringing his readers along with...