Most Inspiring...Piano/Keyboard Player


Zombie Four, DFZ
Apr 28, 2012
Okay, after a week off because I did the poll, back to this.

This is a tough one for me because I don't get a ton of inspiration from keyboard players. I didn't realize it until I started thinking about the thread. There are people I respect, and people I wish I could play like. But for inspiration, it's Elton John, Tori Amos.

And in an admitted bit of a cheat, the most inspirational is Mike Keneally. It's a bit of a cheat because he's an incredible guitarist and just a great musician overall. He played guitar and some keys in Zappa's final touring band in 1988, but after establishing his solo career and his place as a guitarist, he's gone on to play keyboards for Satriani and Chickenfoot, among others. He even did, at Steve Vai's request, a solo piano album of Vai's material (and is working on a second).

You're up!
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Stevie Wonder rules! Nobody has had such a unique and defining style as Stevie Wonder has, one note and you know it's him.

Bernie Worrell is the funkiest bass player in the world. Bootsy gets a lot of credit for "Flashlight", but it's Bernie who's really laying the funk.

Earl "Wire" Lindo was the organist and clavinetist? OK the dude who played the Hohner Clavinet on some of the sweetest Bob Marley tunes. He has such an amazing manner of restraint along with an incredible understanding of space in his playing that I aspire to reach on guitar.
I've been loving Nik Bärtsch lately, well ok for quite a while. His "Ronin" project (which he calls "zen-funk") is awesome. Monster players making way cool music (well I think it's cool anyway)

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I need to think about this a bit, but the first two names that came to my mind are Jerry Lee Lewis and the Late, Great Jon Lord. Both were groundbreaking in their own way.

Goldtop Lloyd
This is a great topic, and as far as being an absolute inspiration goes, to me this man is it. Doug Smith. His is an incredible story...

Goldtop Lloyd, Queen of Clubs
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Jerry Lee Lewis was one of the first names to come to mind, but he makes me feel inferior (and I'm not even really a keyboard player!).

And I'm sad to say that Stevie Wonder never occurred to me...
Ludwig van Beethoven

Frederic Chopin

Keith Jarrett, Matthew Fisher, Jan Hammer, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Booker T. Jones.
I for one find great influence in Chick Corea.

Apart from him, I have also found works by Bach (though from harpsichord and organ), Beethoven, and maybe even some stuff from Mozart and Liszt creeping in there somewhere.
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oh and Herbie of course, Head Hunters is a defining moment in my music life. The reboot of "Watermelon Man" is one of my all time favourite tracks.