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Whose the world's best prog keyboard player?

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Initial post: Mar 1, 2009 9:37:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2009 9:41:10 PM PST
Gary Reiner says:
There are numerous great prog keyboard players out there, but who is the world's best?

I nominate Keith Emerson

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 10:49:30 PM PST
Tarkus says:
1A -- Emerson
1B-- Rick Wakeman

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2009 11:01:53 PM PST
I agree with Tarkus.

My vote goes to Keith Emerson
2nd place Rick Wakeman
3rd place Jordan Rudess

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2009 12:07:53 AM PST
Dan says:
I don't know that you can really nominate a world's best since all players have their own distinctive style and level of technical virtuosity.

There are some great players already listed. Keith Emerson is certainly up there but another one of the best would have to be Patrick Moraz.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2009 4:54:13 AM PST
Gary Reiner says:
You make an excellent point that "all players have their own distinctive style and level of technical virtuosity." Thanks.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 8:16:44 AM PST
Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater gets my vote for the best. I have the CD An evening with John Petrucci (DT guitarist) and Jordan Rudess. Some amazing work by both of these very accomplished instumentalists. I also have the Chaos in Motion tour DVD. Rudess' solo blew me away.

Oddly enough I was considering starting a keyboard thread in the broader classic rock forum. I'd have started with Sir Elton over there. I have to agree though that picking a "best ever" is impossible. Too many greats.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 11:48:35 AM PST
I would like to nominate Clive Nolan of Arena, Pendragon & Shadowland
Honorable mention to Martin Orford of Jadis & IQ

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 5:00:56 PM PST
Keith Emerson get a nod from me!

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 5:18:25 PM PST
Without a doubt: Jordan Rudess

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 5:09:48 AM PST
guitarguy says:
I think DAVE STEWART (of Egg, Hatfield and The North, National Health, Bruford, etc)

and no he's not the Eurythmics guy! just same name unfortunately.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 5:16:11 AM PST
guitarguy says:
or MIKE RATLEDGE of the Soft Machine, (if you count the Soft Machine as Prog...I think of them as fusion and not prog).

To me prog has to have some classical influence, and Soft Machine were Jazz based so I don't call them prog, but he kicks so much "you know what" on keys that I had to mention him anyways.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 5:35:18 AM PST
Edward Hanna says:
Emerson, Wakeman, Moraz have to be at the top (check out Moraz's keyboard work on the Yes album "Relayer"). Emerson's Piano Concerto on ELP's Works Album is terrific and requires virtuoso talent to play (I have the sheet music, and it ain't easy...). Geoff Downes (Buggles, Yes, Asia) should get some props as well. And Kansas had a few keyboard players with chops as well (Livgren, Walsh). Enjoy 'em all.

Posted on Mar 6, 2009 10:12:28 PM PST
Besides Keith Emerson?

This is like asking who the greatest Rock guitarist
is besides - Jimi Hendrix

Or whose the greatest Rock Vocalist of
all time is besides - Freddie Mercury

We need tougher questions!

Posted on Mar 7, 2009 9:38:04 PM PST
Hands Down .... Kerry Minnear from Gentle Giant

Posted on Mar 9, 2009 8:13:17 PM PDT
arol says:
arol says:1.keith Emerson,followed closely by Jordan Ruddes ,both are virtuso musicians.and I would mention also Mark Roberson from Cairo

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 4:42:01 PM PDT
J. Smith says:
Emerson without doubt - not just for his technical ability but for his compositional talent. A much more imaginative, advenurous and diverse composer that twiddly fingers Wakeman for instance. He's also added more expressive qualities to his playing in recent times - check out Emmerson plays Emerson CD. I've got his new CD with Marc Bonilla on order and can't wait to hear it. There's a nice video of him playing a very beautiful piece from the album (kind of like an Eric Satie Gymnopedie) on You Tube which sounds top class.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 7:11:56 PM PDT
PGM says:
Manfred Mann.

Not only was his playing unique,but he had found a way of breaking the pop bubble that surrounds mainstream radio Top 40 play list without selling out.

Deep Purples' Jon Lord ain't bad either.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 9:47:36 AM PDT
OMG you people GOTSTA check out "UK", soon to be reborn as "UKZ", Eddie Jobson is amazing, makes me wanna never play again!! lol

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2009 1:58:31 PM PDT
PGM says:
Official release is March 24th at your local record dealer (if you still got one)

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 12:07:57 PM PDT
Wakeman, Emerson, Rudess and Moraz.... In no particular order........ But if I were starting a band today, it would have to be Jordan Rudess. Has anyone seen him play the fingerboard? Amazing guy.... Besides, as far as I am concerned, anyone who cuts hit teeth with Steve Morse.... well need I say more?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2009 7:07:15 PM PDT
JP says:
For 35+ years I have put it this way -

If you put Wakeman and Emerson at a piano with the most complicated piece of classical/prog/whatever music you could find in front of would be hard to choose a winner.

If you buried them under a mountain of different keyboards and told them to "go for it" for an hour.........I honestly think Wakeman would take him!

Wakeman's body of work is MUCH more varied and, admit it, Emerson's new album (which is great and I like it) sounds almost EXACTLY like what he was doing 35 years ago.

For those reasons it is a no brainer for me.

And, as much as I like Rudess and Nolan, I'm surprised no one has mentioned a VERY influencial person (especially on these two) from the 80s - Marillion's Mark Kelley.

Eddie Jobson IS good - ANYONE who played keys for Zappa HAS to be.

Which is why I'll also bring up Tommy Mars. Some of the stuff he did with Frank was AMAZING (check out Pound for a Brown from the Baby Snakes movie) and yes, he has crossed into prog.

And no one has mentioned Genesis' Tony Banks?!? COME ON....Firth of a Fifth, Supper's Ready, Cinema Show, etc, etc, etc. While always considered a 1970s 2nd stringer after Wakeman and Emerson, he definitely deserves a mention.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2009 5:15:21 PM PDT
Gary Reiner says:
Who's album is being released today, March 24?

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 8:37:05 PM PDT
I like Richard Barbieri (Japan, Porcupine Tree), more for the way he writes the keyboard parts than the way he plays.

Would Mike Oldfield be appropriate to mention here?

And if you're going to talk about best keyboard players, it seems like you'd also want to check some of the electronic music groups, like Tangerine Dream. I guess it depends on what you're looking for.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 8:25:06 PM PDT
Can't believe nobody mentioned Clive Nolan. His work in Pendragon and Arena is pretty darn good.

Posted on Apr 5, 2009 7:43:26 AM PDT
Tony Banks would probably get my vote. He was a great soloist, and his composing was the musical foundation of Genesis' music. I don't understand why some people think of him as inferior to Wakeman and Emerson. How can you not love the work he did on "Firth of Fifth", "Watcher of the Skies", and "Supper's Ready"?

Furthermore, why has no one mentioned Rick Wright!? Though not a soloist like the others, his keyboard parts were the most beautiful parts of all the Pink Floyd songs. He was certainly the most talented musician in the band (yes, I consider him slightly superior to David Gilmour).

But let's face it: this is a hard question to answer, as is every question about progressive rock.
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Discussion in:  Progressive Rock forum
Participants:  97
Total posts:  193
Initial post:  Mar 1, 2009
Latest post:  6 days ago

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