has anyone else who goes to see live blues noticed that the keyboard players have some really insane chops these days?  like light years ahead of old school players like fats domino and otis spann.  is it that more of them are classically trained now?  or is competition that heavy?  is it the incorporation of techniques that were formerly in the realm of jazz or pop?

this comes from seeing buddy guy on sunday night.  his keyboard player is out of this world.  crazy chops, but very tasty the whole way through.  of course, i think you'd have to have all those qualities to play with buddy.  i didn't catch his name though :(.
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good question.

probably the answer has something to do with minor pentatonics and their modes?

having thought about it, i think it has something to do with the fact that most keyboard/piano players don't specialize any more.  spann and fats (domino) were primarily self-taught blues and boogie players who never needed to be able to play anything else.  i think most of today's sidemen are trained pianists (classical influences)who probably also double as session men, and have pretty much learned to play everything to some degree, including rock, country, funk, jam, organ, jazz, and so on.  so when they go to play a blues gig with buddy guy, they still bring all of those other things with them and play differently from how a pure blues player would.
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