Prog - - Intro -



Given that Geddy Lee is ac­tu­ally a bass player, his place in the Top 20 is a tes­ta­ment to his mu­si­cal dex­ter­ity. Lee didn’t be­gin us­ing syn­the­sis­ers un­til Rush’s fifth al­bum, 1977’s A Farewell To Kings, af­ter which time he be­gan us­ing syn­the­sis­ers and bass ped­als far more often on stage. The band’s use of key­boards hit its height in the 80s with al­bums such as Sig­nals, Power Win­dows and Hold Your Fire, and al­though its use was toned down on later al­bums, Lee’s ex­per­tise with the in­stru­ment was al­ways more than ev­i­dent on stage.

You say: “Play­ing bass, singing and play­ing key­boards all at the same time… It’s easy to do one thing at a time but to do it all, and so pro­fi­ciently, that’s quite some­thing.”

– Karen DuBlanc



Mex­i­can key­board wiz­ard Diego Te­jeida joined young British prog rock­ers Haken in 2008, re­plac­ing Peter Jones a year af­ter the band formed. He’s been an in­te­gral part of their sound ever since, help­ing them rise up through the prog rock ranks over the years. Haken’s mu­sic has al­ways lent heav­ily on their prodi­gious tal­ent, and Te­jeida’s ex­per­tise around his banks of key­boards is one rea­son for his high show­ing in this poll, made more im­pres­sive given Haken’s hard-hit­ting and often un­com­pro­mis­ing sound.

You say: “Hard to dis­tin­guish your­self in a prog metal band, and he does just fine.” – Kraig Hav­i­land



Many will know Holz­man as the key­board player in Steven Wil­son’s solo band, but he was born into rock roy­alty. His fa­ther is Jac Holz­man, the founder of Elek­tra Records, and the man who signed The Doors and (for the US only) Queen. Hired by Miles Davis to play on 1986’s Tutu al­bum, Adam stayed with Davis for four years. Along­side Wil­son, with whom he’s played since 2013’s The Raven That Re­fused To Sing, he’s also per­formed with Ray Wil­son, Robben Ford, Ray Man­zarek, Lenny White and more.

You say: “For me, Holz­man is a rev­e­la­tion in terms of his solo work, es­pe­cially with Steven Wil­son. He has a gen­uine voice and his mu­si­cal skills seem end­less. His al­bum Truth De­cay was in my Top 5 for the past 12 months.” – Emma Leach



One won­ders how many times Ste­wart has had to say, “Not that one!” over re­cent years. But a man with his pedi­gree re­ally shouldn’t need to. The or­gan­ist in Uriel, where he played along­side Mont Camp­bell and Steve Hil­lage, he was then in Egg, Hat­field And The North, Na­tional Health and Bru­ford. He’s just re­leased a new stu­dio al­bum, Star Clocks, with part­ner Bar­bara Gaskin, with whom he got to No.1 in the UK sin­gles chart with their re­make of It’s My Party in 1981.

You say: “He had a tremen­dous range of styles and great tech­nique, utilised with such good taste and in­ven­tive­ness that I won­der why he isn’t more known. His com­bi­na­tion of jazz and rock with the vo­cab­u­lary of a trained clas­si­cal mu­si­cian is awe-in­spir­ing and ex­cep­tional.” – Geir Hasnes



Given that Kolyadin only burst onto the prog scene about five years ago with Marjana Semkina when iamthe­morn­ing first rose to promi­nence, his strong show­ing here is re­mark­able: the high­est placed mu­si­cian from the mod­ern prog scene. Kolyadin’s or­ches­tra­tions and piano play­ing are su­perb, as any­one who’s lis­tened to ei­ther iamthe­morn­ing or his self-ti­tled solo al­bum will be aware.

You say: “The most ex­cit­ing young pi­anist and key­boardist in the genre right now. The only rea­son he isn’t higher in the rank­ing is be­cause he hasn’t reached his full po­ten­tial yet, which is a ter­ri­fy­ing thought be­cause he’s al­ready un­be­liev­ably good.”

– Austin Kokel



An­other gi­ant of the jazz fu­sion world, there are those who say that with Re­turn To For­ever and al­bums such as 1976’s Ro­man­tic War­rior, Corea and his band (at that time Al Di Me­ola, Stan­ley Clarke and Lenny White) came clos­est to forg­ing fu­sion and prog. Like many fu­sion gi­ants, Corea learned his trade play­ing with Miles Davis and has worked with nearly all the ma­jor jazz play­ers over the past 30 years. He cel­e­brated his 75th birth­day in 2016 by per­form­ing with over 20 dif­fer­ent bands at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York.

You say: “Corea’s mu­sic with Re­turn To For­ever was all about pace – about mak­ing land­scapes re­lent­lessly slide at light­ning-fast speed, pro­duc­ing a feel­ing of ex­ci­ta­tion and abyss at the same time.” – Lau­rent de Sut­ter



Job­son learned piano aged seven and vi­o­lin aged eight. Too young to study at the Royal Academy, he played for the band Fat Grap­ple in­stead. When they sup­ported Curved Air, it didn’t take long for him to move across, aged 17, re­plac­ing Dar­ryl Way. Since then Job­son has played with many prog rock greats: Roxy Mu­sic, Frank Zappa, UK, Jethro Tull and Yes. He’s also run a solo ca­reer that be­gan with 1983’s The Green Al­bum. He worked with for­mer UK mem­ber John Wet­ton for years, and more re­cently toured with Marc Bonilla in trib­ute to the late Keith Emer­son.

You say: “Roxy Mu­sic and its off­shoots, Zappa, UK and even a brief un­cred­ited stint in Yes. The Mae­stro is a true syn­the­siser ge­nius and can play an elec­tric vi­o­lin sec­ond in joy only to Jean-Luc Ponty! If he could have stayed with one group for his ca­reer he would not be a dark horse in this list.”

– Chris Beckwith

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.