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Jobson vs. Emerson

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humor4u1959 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote humor4u1959 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Jobson vs. Emerson
    Posted: April 20 2013 at 00:04
I'm a musician, however, I'm a drummer. So I'm not qualified to judge this one. I love Eddie Jobson and Keith Emerson. I think both possess incredible skill.

But, is one technically a more accomplished player? I realize that preference is what matters, and, as I said, I love 'em both. Having said that, it seems to me that there's nothing Emerson has played that Jobson could not play, in terms of technical difficulty. Am I correct?

Do we have any keyboardists here who are really familiar with both of these guys? If so, I'm very eager to read your opinion(s). Please chime in.

Thanks so much, proggers!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 03:05
^that however in your opening sentence speaks volumes. (I think you meant to type: but I ain't a keyboard playerWink)
I'm a massive Emerson fanboy at heart but really couldn't give a discarded fig if his technique was rated 'beyond redemption' by any so-called qualified expert. What merit does any music have that rests upon its difficulty to play or execute?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 03:18
I'm not a keyboard player either. I have heard much less stuff from Jobson, his UK albums, Tull's A and some occasional bits of his work with Roxy Music etc. Jobson was very skilled but I prefer Emerson. You can not judge musicians simply by the technical difficulty level of what they can play, statements like 'there's nothing Emerson has played that Jobson could not play, in terms of technical difficulty' are not very relevant, perhaps he could play what Emerson played, but the fact is that Emerson did create that music, not Jobson. From this point of view I prefer what Emerson did to what Jobson did (although the UK albums especially the first one are excellent!).

One key difference is that Jobson did not play so much on the acoustic piano. The acoustic piano reveals many nuances of a player which the electric keyboards disguise, such as velocity (not meaning speed) and dynamics control etc. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brainstormer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 09:10
I'm a keyboard player and I even had the distinct pleasure of once having a three minute keyboard lesson with Eddie Jobson at a radio station in NY.  I would have to say that I do not believe Jobson can play the things Emerson does.  Emerson's compositions were much longer and require more keyboard skill.  As far as I know, Jobson's one tour de force is on  Presto Vivace and that is a single shorter piece by him that he probably played over and over and over. If you listen to Emerson's Piano Improvisations on WBMF, you'll find the most difficult to play keyboards in all of rock music, IMHO.  I also think the Piano Concerto shows Emerson to play things harder than anything Jobson has done on record.  I would like to hear other keyboardist's opinions.




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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 11:38
Love 'em both, but Emerson....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harry Hood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 13:05
There's no promotion waiting for a man like Eddie Jobson.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 13:26
I am a guitar player, but Emerson strikes me as the more accomplished of the two.  Jobson, whose music I enjoy a great deal, seems more of an ensemble kind of player since the bulk of his work is with bands.  He is also a violinist, so there is a different dimension to his musical approach, I think.  Emerson is purely a keyboardist and a verstile one - concert piano, saloon piano, synths (especially Moog), and Hammond B3.  Anything from classical to rock he handles.  He also takes on the bulk of the ELP sound.  His name is first not just because of the alphabet, but because he is the one who carries their music more than the others.  He is at least half the sound we hear from them.  So, greater versatility and greater prominence is mostly what I hear.  All of this means is that his parts, often multiparts, are more difficult to maintain, perform, and yes, compose.  I love Eddie's work with Tull, Roxy, and UK, and enjoy the one solo album I have of his, Theme of Secrets, but there is nothing on any of those that really matches what Emerson has done.
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote resurrection Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 13:43
Emerson
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 16:59
Another KE fan boy chiming in here, all you have to do is look at some of those classically trained piano parrots to get the answer to that. By parrot I mean those guys who wow the world with the amazing Liszt performances and other complex music. Strange that I don't recall any of them doing anything 'original' and therein lies the truth. Technical performance or knowledge isn't the real question, it's the creative element that sets Emerson apart.

I was also the sound engineer for the keyboard driven Symphonic rock band BUSKER for six years. The keyboard player for that band could play pretty much any ELP tune you can imagine, and he was playing a full Hammond D foot pedal bass at the same time, and not a push and hold bass but a walking bass. I never saw Emerson do that. But that didn't make him better technically or otherwise.

Your original question is "technically accomplished", well, that's a very vague qualifier to be sure. For instance, if a keyboard player can shift from one style to another seamlessly either within a song or from song to song does that qualify as "technically accomplished"? What about if they can maintain a rhythm like a metronome, does that qualify? What about always hitting every key  in a cord exactly  each and every time, does that qualify.

I guess my point is (and I'm sorry for taking so long to get to it) there are so many elements that go into any musical performance of any instrument that I don't believe there will ever be a correct answer. Only opinions.

BTW, my opinion is that Emerson is and always will be the keyboard GOD of progressive music even as age takes its toll of the physical being. He is truly the ORIGINAL !!!


See, I told you I was a fan boy.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dwill123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 17:03
Emerson
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pitfall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 17:25
I hate the concept of "rating" people against each other, whether it's on the grounds of technique, looks or whatever.
Just be thankful that we have such a variety of different styles and approaches to each instrument.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Billy 7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2013 at 14:55
Wasnt Jobson Violinist who also played a bit of keyboards ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2013 at 14:11
I've been a bit of an obsessive Keith Emerson fan for a long time. I even like his flim soundtrack work (Nighthawks displays yet another side of him). As people have already nailed down well on this thread its not about technique. I bet most could name 20 or 30 keyboard players in prog that are 'better'. Ironically though most of them only have a career because of Emerson! Says a lot really. If I was to pick any guy purely on technique it would be Fred Schendel of Glass Hammer. He also writes some very good modern symphonic prog. Eddie Jobson has had a very good career but I really wish he had made more music like Theme Of Secrets. That was a possible creative outlet for Eddie that never quite took off for some reason. Shame.

Edited by richardh - April 22 2013 at 14:12
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brainstormer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2013 at 10:51
Originally posted by richardh

I've been a bit of an obsessive Keith Emerson fan for a long time. I even like his flim soundtrack work (Nighthawks displays yet another side of him). As people have already nailed down well on this thread its not about technique. I bet most could name 20 or 30 keyboard players in prog that are 'better'. Ironically though most of them only have a career because of Emerson! Says a lot really. If I was to pick any guy purely on technique it would be Fred Schendel of Glass Hammer. He also writes some very good modern symphonic prog. Eddie Jobson has had a very good career but I really wish he had made more music like Theme Of Secrets. That was a possible creative outlet for Eddie that never quite took off for some reason. Shame.

With all due respect, I do not agree with the statement that there are 20 or 30 keyboard players in prog that
are "better" technically then Emerson.  I've had about 5 years of classical piano, which isn't that much, but
I just don't agree that even 5 prog keyboard players would have the stamina or physical strength to play a whole Emerson set the way Emerson does.  Again, with great respect, but most tribute bands that I've heard play ELP music
had something lacking in execution.   There is something about the unique use of modal choice of notes in ELP
music that is very modern.  Even though some music sounds like prog, often it's just based on major, blues,
or minor scales.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BlackenedGass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2013 at 13:25
I've seen both live and and feel that while they are both amazing, Jobson is perhaps a little bit more underrated than Emerson. I'm a huge fan of UK but it wasn't until I actually saw them live that I realized just how good Jobson is on the keyboards (I got into him through his violin work.) So in terms of popularity I would perhaps say Emerson.

In terms of playing ability I think they manage to outdo each other in different areas. Keith Emerson is all about the showmanship and playing a fairly large mix of keyboards. His playing the piano upside down thing is certainly impressive. Jobson only used the onee keyboard when I saw UK, but achieved a great deal withi t which was equally impressive. He is also insanely good on the violin, so there is that for him as well.

Basically if you just talk about their playing styles you could, maybe, come to a conclusion on, but then you have to consider all of the above as well and it get's harder to compare!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2013 at 13:59
Originally posted by pitfall

I hate the concept of "rating" people against each other, whether it's on the grounds of technique, looks or whatever.
Just be thankful that we have such a variety of different styles and approaches to each instrument.
What he said. Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote humor4u1959 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2013 at 23:25
Thanks for all the replies. I realize that it comes down to which player's style one prefers. They're both amazing. I suppose I'm more familiar with Jobson's piano playing than most here. On his "Green" album there is an incredibly intricate and impressive piano song. Also, I have a CD called 'Piano One' where he contributes 3 songs. It's all just grand piano. And, trust me, he is tremendous. I also saw him live in 1978. So, I beg to differ. I think he's just as skilled as Emerson, but I love 'em both.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 01:27
Originally posted by brainstormer

Originally posted by richardh

I've been a bit of an obsessive Keith Emerson fan for a long time. I even like his flim soundtrack work (Nighthawks displays yet another side of him). As people have already nailed down well on this thread its not about technique. I bet most could name 20 or 30 keyboard players in prog that are 'better'. Ironically though most of them only have a career because of Emerson! Says a lot really. If I was to pick any guy purely on technique it would be Fred Schendel of Glass Hammer. He also writes some very good modern symphonic prog. Eddie Jobson has had a very good career but I really wish he had made more music like Theme Of Secrets. That was a possible creative outlet for Eddie that never quite took off for some reason. Shame.

With all due respect, I do not agree with the statement that there are 20 or 30 keyboard players in prog that
are "better" technically then Emerson.  I've had about 5 years of classical piano, which isn't that much, but
I just don't agree that even 5 prog keyboard players would have the stamina or physical strength to play a whole Emerson set the way Emerson does.  Again, with great respect, but most tribute bands that I've heard play ELP music
had something lacking in execution.   There is something about the unique use of modal choice of notes in ELP
music that is very modern.  Even though some music sounds like prog, often it's just based on major, blues,
or minor scales.  

I understand your point of view of course and Keith is my hero so I don't want to argue my point vehemently. However the appeal of Emerson and his music for me is its originality not the technical skill involved. Emerson was prepared to break the mould.
When I say there are better players I am talking about precision which is something that Emerson was not always hot on. He cared more about ideas although he and Wakeman did have that supposed rivalry . According to Wakeman though this was encouraged by their record companies to help sell more records and then hyped up by the media at the time.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 02:42
I play kybds (and other stuff) and have always been of the opinion that there are 2 kybd players in prog, Keith and everybody else.  Based on your original question, even if Jobson could play Keith's parts (which I doubt), the important distinction is that he couldn't come close to creating anything like Keith.  Even if he could play them, I don't see Jobson writing the opening counterpoint organ part to Karn Evil 9 1st Imp or the opening section to Tarkus.

Keith is the man.
I'm using the chicken to measure it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 02:46
Emerson's 'Piano Concerto No. 1' is pretty much perfection to demonstrate his skill on the piano, especially the manic Third movement 'Tocatta con Fuoco'.  Keith was already tackling amazing things whilst in The Nice, and Jobson was in his late teens when he hooked up with Curved Air.  His performance on their album 'Air Cut' was already at a very high level.  Two truly gifted musicians, and I've never heard Emerson play a violin LOL - Jobson is superb on that thing.........
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