chas ... you sometimes paint with too broad a brush ... I know quite a number of excellent musicians - piano players mostly, and even one fine jazz alto sax player - in the New York/New Jersey area who after spending years honing their craft and making considerable money entertaining people by singing and playing - most with small combos - are now arranger players ...
Tony, I probably do ("paint with too broad a brush") from time to time, but I tried to make it clear that I was not talking about the "excellent musicians" playing arranger kb's, but the posers using arranger keyboards to pass themselves off as "excellent musicians".
Let me state loud and clear; for those who truly depend on the music business for a livelihood, I say "do whatever it takes" to get the job done, BUT, for those that really don't need the money but opportunistically use the technology to satisfy one's ego or realize some teenage fantasy of performing before screaming, worshiping crowds (let's face it; you're NOT going to get the girls anymore
), but are not willing to put in the (musical) work (why practice, let the computer do it), I say, leave the true performance venues (CC's, jazz clubs, fine dining venues, etc.) to legitimate musicians playing legitimate music on legitimate instruments. In that scenario, people like Bill Lewis and Mark would have a much easier time finding work.