THE TOP 50

Prog - - Intro -

40

JOHN EVAN

Given that Jethro Tull grew out of The John Evan Band, their key­board player be­tween 1970 and 1979 is a sta­ple part of the band’s his­tory. He has run his own con­struc­tion com­pany for years now, but ap­peared on video dressed as a flower for Tull’s re­cent shows.

You say: “Un­der­stated per­haps, but al­ways ef­fec­tive.” – Danny Solo­mans

39

HER­BIE HAN­COCK

A real jazz fu­sion leg­end, a key­board player, pi­anist, band­leader and a com­poser, Han­cock’s early work with Don­ald Byrd and Miles Davis schooled him in jazz. With al­bums such as Head Hun­ters, he ruled fu­sion, and with 1983’s Rockit, he in­vented jazz hip-hop.

You say: “Up there with Ma­hav­ishnu Or­ches­tra, Weather Re­port and Re­turn To For­ever as a true fu­sion mas­ter.”

– Kim Water­ford

38

ANDY TIL­LI­SON

Andy Til­li­son has been a ma­jor part of the mod­ern pro­gres­sive mu­sic scene since he formed The Tan­gent in 2002. He’s an artist ded­i­cated to his craft, and is al­ways look­ing to ex­pand on his own mu­si­cal hori­zons with unique col­lab­o­ra­tions.

You say: “Great vi­sion, heart, mu­si­cal­ity and tech­nique! Each al­bum is bet­ter than the next!”

– Rich Eber­sole

37

TIM BLAKE

In­stru­men­tal in the for­ma­tion of Hawk­wind and an early mem­ber of Gong, Blake’s own unique mu­si­cal vi­sion found its feet with 1977’s Crys­tal Ma­chine and 1978’s Blake’s New Jerusalem. He’s still pioneer­ing new sounds with Crys­tal Ma­chine.

You say: “A fluid and in­ven­tive player who has ex­celled in Gong, Hawk­wind and solo… Can tackle fu­sion, cos­mic and am­bi­ent with ease and grace.

A top bloke!” – Amy Hassi­nen

36

CLIVE NOLAN

Nolan came to promi­nence when he joined neo-prog­gers Pen­dragon in 1986. He re­mains with them to­day, as well as hav­ing formed UK prog rock­ers Arena.

He’s also worked with Shad­ow­land and Strangers On A Train, as well as in­dulging in his own theatre com­pany Caamora.

You say: “Ev­ery­thing he touches seems to turn to gold, which is ap­pro­pri­ate given Arena’s song Mi­das Vi­sion.” – Chris Ry­der

35

ROD AR­GENT

Ar­gent’s work with The Zom­bies and Ar­gent, both bands he founded, has es­tab­lished his rep­u­ta­tion as an ex­cel­lent key­board player, harp­si­chordist and or­gan­ist, as well as a song­writer of note. He penned hits such as She’s Not There and Hold Your Head Up, tak­ing prog high up into the charts.

You say: “Very un­der­rated, but his work with The Zom­bies and Ar­gent put him up there with best key­board play­ers.” – Ian Pope

34

VIN­CENT CRANE

Crane’s in­cen­di­ary or­gan play­ing for both The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster set him out as one of the pro­gres­sive world’s most unique tal­ents. He also worked with Rory Gal­lagher, Peter Green and even Dexy’s Mid­night Run­ners be­fore he suc­cumbed to de­pres­sion, com­mit­ting sui­cide in 1989.

You say: “Crane’s pow­er­house key­board sound in Atomic Rooster was as heavy as the gui­tars, yet he was also ca­pa­ble of beau­ti­ful in­tro­spec­tion.” – Mike Simkiss

33

JIM GIL­MOUR

Gil­mour didn’t just add the epic key­board sound to Cana­dian pomp rock­ers Saga, but he also added sax­o­phone and vo­cals as well. How­ever, it’s the lush waves of syn­the­siser and key­boards that colour the band’s al­bums that he’s best loved for.

You say: “Jim Gil­mour had the per­fect blend of sound, ideas and tech­nique.” – Frank

32

KEVIN MOORE

Moore was asked to join the fledg­ling Dream The­ater by high school pal John Petrucci, colour­ing the band’s first three al­bums with his big key­board sound. Since then he’s en­hanced his prog cre­den­tials with OSI, Chroma Key and his own solo work.

You say: “Speed and dex­ter­ity, soul and heart, and what a song­writer.”

– David Rogers

31

DANNY MAN­NERS

Man­ners joined the seem­ingly ever-in­creas­ing Big Big Train line-up in 2012, in time to work on both their English Elec­tric al­bums. His dex­ter­ous key­board play­ing has lent much to the band’s sound ever since. As if that wasn’t enough, he some­times plays dou­ble bass as well!

You say: “Danny Man­ners of Big Big Train is one of the best key­board play­ers in mod­ern pro­gres­sive rock I can think of.” – Joshua Downe

30

PETER BAR­DENS

Be­fore he made his name in the pro­gres­sive world for pro­vid­ing highly at­mo­spheric key­board sounds with Camel, Bar­dens had al­ready worked with some of mu­sic’s big­gest names, in­clud­ing the likes of Rod Ste­wart, Mick Fleet­wood and Peter Green. He’d also work with Van Mor­ri­son later in his ca­reer, be­fore sadly suc­cumb­ing to can­cer in 2002.

You say: “Peter passed away a few years ago but his mu­sic lives on. Be­sides be­ing in the Can­ter­bury scene with Camel, he also played with Van Mor­ri­son on his Wave­length al­bum.”

– Dan Page

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