(Top) Andrea Bocelli, Apl.de.ap, George Shearing, Ray Charles, José Feliciano; (middle) Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gilbert Montagné, Omar Abdel Rahman, Ronnie Milsap, Stevie Wonder; (bottom) Jimmy Carter, Sonny Terry, Reverend Gary Davis, Esref Armagan, Zhou Yunpeng
We love our country, but we loathe “God Bless America.”
More specifically, we are vehemently opposed to the compulsory singing of the patriotic anthem 1918 showtune from Yip Yip Yaphank! at baseball games. (Yes, “God Bless America” is a showtune, and one that its author, Irving Berlin, cut from Yip! after two performances because he disliked it so much.)
Duke Ellington dubbed him the “Maharajah of the Keyboard” and Count Basie said he played “the best ivory box I've ever heard,” while Ray Charles simply called him “one motherfucking piano player!” Oscar Peterson, one of the all-time jazz greats, died at the age of 82 over the holidays, and we here at Kempt can't help but be saddened by the passing of man who provided the soundtrack to some of our most memorable moments.