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LJP Updates and Stuff, 04/26/2012, 16:40:09

Well, it took about a week to do some major updating to LJP.  It's been a long time coming and there's still more to do, but at least I knocked some of the big items off the list.

A few months ago I decided that I need to spend more energy in my music, more energy on LJP, more energy in the things I'm good at that make me smile.

Plus... back in Dec I lost virtually all of my income from an online continuing education for real estate agents business I was a part of.  All of a sudden, my partner says, "I'm going to a new system and taking all of the clients with me.  Bye."  

So there I am, here I am, and the only thing I can do is play piano (which unfortunately doesn't pay enough to live on) and program for the web (which would pay enough if I knew what to program.)

Then I started thinking about what I could do, and one of the things was to update this site, get re-affiliated with some music sales sites (I used to make close to $200 a month on affiliate sheetmusic and book sales!), and more.  Plus I have a secret idea that will be made public when it's ready.  It's a good one, too.

With all said and done, LJP still ranks very high in search engine results when you type in "jazz piano" and man, after being around since 1996 and at the top of teh results for such a long time, it's time for this site to pay off a little bit.

Anyway, having my house going into foreclosure and my credit cards turned, and for the first time going through the application process for food stamps (I have NEVER asked for help before, but right now things suck) is just no fun and hopefully all the effort I'm putting into this and some other projects will start paying off a little bit.

Thanks for listening, hopefully next time I'll be able to come back with some sort of good news!

Looking back at the studio sessions, 03/17/2007, 20:17:22

Well, we did two full days back in October.  I listened to some rough mixes and haven't wanted to listen to them again.  Not sure why, they are OK, but not what I expect when I play music. I'm not good in a studio with people spread out in different rooms.  

But, as I haven't listened to it for a few months, I think I should revisit the thing and see if there's any hope of salvaging something releasable.

I'll keep y'all informed.

Recording, 10/20/2006, 06:58:20

Ok, finally hitting the studio today!  Quartet recording, mostly swing, should be fun, I'm looking forward to it.  Sort of hurt my right hand playing tennis yesterday, but I iced it and it feels pretty good today.

I'll let you know how it goes!

modems!, 08/27/2006, 21:50:16

I'm on a 36k or so modem right now. And LJP is just as fast as ever.  See, it pays not to build a graphics intensive site, and the HTML is quite clean.

LJP rocks on a modem :)

Recording Project, 08/17/2006, 12:19:35

Ok, the recording project has been altered a bit. It's now a quartet swing recording project featuring my brother on sax. He's one of the strongest sax players in the region, reguarly plays with guys like Pete Christlieb for some pretty amazing tenor sax battles.

I've been communicating with ArtistShare to see how they can help as I put this together. Not sure if I will do anything with them as I have a pretty good audience right here on LJP.

The recording is set for late september, probably the last week. I'll keep you guys updated!

Search engines, 07/20/2006, 19:56:37

Oh my gosh. For the first time in years, I've been supplanted on a search engine!  Msn.com puts some other guy's site up in front of mine when you put in "jazz piano".  

I'm going to have to fix that. Lucky I sold my soul to the search engine devil and it won't take long until I'm vindicated.

CD project, 05/30/2006, 21:27:43

Well, thanks to some advice from members here on LJP, the decision has been made to record.

I've got the bass player, a Jaco Pastorius clone, and will be checking out two or three drummers.

The style of the project is a thing I've been doing for around ten years which is basically, reggae jazz.

You can go to scotranney.com and check out "thursday night" for a similar sound that was recorded live on a gig several years ago.

It's pretty exciting for me and I'm really looking forward to it.  

New thing!, 08/18/2005, 13:12:54

This is cool.  I woke up today humming "The Days of Wine and Roses" and I thought it was in the key of F.  So I sat down at the piano and turned out I was humming it in D.

So guess what?  I played it in D. Learned it, improvised, jammed, had a great time, now I know it in D.  Plus the act of learning it in D put it into numbers so it was easy to do all the keys.

So, new thing is to wake up, pick a tune, and hum it in a key and then learn it in that key.  If you have perfect pitch you're out of luck :)

Finished monty transcription, 05/12/2005, 01:09:24

Man, that Monty Alexander transcription of Milestones took a while to do, but it's worth it.  I'm in the process of trying to play it up to speed. A few difficult passages, but doable with a little bit of effort.

Wrist healed up after a few days of not using it.

Trying to get a good solo arrangement together of Ceora for an audition tape (centrum).  But  have to make the tape tomorrow and still don't have a good arrangement yet, plus that transcription has to be on it too, and I can't play it up to speed.

I'm feeling really inadequate as a jazz pianist right now!

However, the jam session last night was great.  The very last song of hte night was Bye Bye Blackbird and I think I took ten choruses.  I just didn't want to stop :)  

Ok, back to the grind, gotta figure Ceora out and get down the last four hard spots in the transcription.

Hurt wrist, 04/04/2005, 19:23:06

Somehow hurt my wrist the other day. Hurst only when I'm spreading my fingers out (tension) and then trying to move it right and left horizontally.

Easy enough to fix by resting it, so I haven't practiced for yesterday or today, and I'll hold off tomorrow as well.  I have a little brace on it that seems to be helping.  

I do have to play the jam session tomorrow, and the first set is a trio set... maybe I'll call some of the guys and see if they want to sit in on first set instead of waiting until second set?

More work to do!, 03/28/2005, 21:43:23

You know, it's always important to go hear great players live every once in a while.  Sometimes I start thinking I know a little bit about playing piano, then all I have to do is hear someone who really does know what they are doing and it inspires me even more to work harder.

I've never been able to just "pick things up" on the piano. It's always been a painful process of analyzing and working things out...

So new things. Going to the Centrum jazz camp again (http://www.centrum.org) and have to learn a tune and some basic keyboard technique. I already know the technique and I'm going to re-learn Donna Lee in two hands at a blistering tempo, but probably start it off as a ballad or something.  Maybe learn it in another key and play the out chorus in the key of G or A.  

At the same time I want to transcribe Monty Alexander's version of Milestones from the great recording Friday Night (hard to find, but highly recommended). I've listened to it a thousand times so this is not proving too difficult. Basically just learning what I already know but making sure I really know it, know what I mean?

I Didn't know what tim eit was, 03/08/2005, 22:16:04

Yeah, I'm still working on this one. It's starting to sound nice. Lots of "drop 2" stuff, walking minor scale patterns, plus some pseudo-stride. I'll be ready by March 14 for the Monster Piano night at Jon's house.

Also working through Halberstadt's Metaphors for the Musician. What an amazing book, can't say enough good things about it.  Reminds me of some of the ways I approach music which is cool. Kind of Zen mixed with Take Care of Business :)

I Didn't Know What Time it Was, 02/27/2005, 18:46:55

I'm working on this tune today. Some really nice stuff in it, and I've been working hard on five note right hand voicings to use in harmonizing melodies.

A local pianist recently got a yahama c7 grand piano and he's set up a monster piano night every second monday of the month. For March, we are going to play a Rogers/Hart tune (hence the tune I'm working on), a Chick Corea tune (I'm going to do Armando's Rhumba), and an original.

It will be interesting to see what happens- march is the first month for this. IT will be cool no matter what, kind of like a writers group or something.

Randy Halberstadt's book, "Metaphors for the Musician", 02/24/2005, 20:49:46

I received this book two days ago and even though I'm in the middle of going through and reviewing Roberta Piket's series of books, I can't put Randy's book down.

Even though I'm not through with it and haven't written a review, I want to say right now, buy this book!

I'm only 1/6th of the way into it, and it's already gotten me to go in new directions with my playing. It's an amazing book.

Get it here:


The last savage journey of Doctor Gonzo, aka Hunter S. Thompson, 02/21/2005, 17:03:53

Well, it finally happened.  We all knew it would, there's no way it couldn't.  One day when I lived in Aspen and happened to be hanging out and talking about drinking, driving, and music, with the venerable Hunter S. Thompson, he said, "Hey, maybe I can get you something. What do you want?"  I figured he was offering to make me a drink, but then realized he was in fact pointing to a bowl full of various colored pills, herbs, and other things I didn't recognize.

He lived his life under His Own Terms, and he died under His Own Terms.  The man had a passion for passion itself and the few short times I got to spend some time with him have always been memories that I somehow wish were a bit more clear, but then again, I know he would have wanted my memories of hanging out with him to be as hazy as possible.

For those who knew his work and enjoyed it, he had been writing for Espn2.com until his death last night.  Here is a link to his archive of writings for espn2:


What did I learn by meeting him?  Having a burger with him at the Woody Creek Tavern, drinking a beer and having a rather confusing conversation with him at the Howling Wolf in Aspen, watching him run for Sheriff against his good friend again, and a few other things I'm not going to mention, these experiences validated my own experiences in a way.  

I never think about the things I want to do in life, I just go out and do them.  Hunter S. Thompson, Raoul Duke (you know, Duke from Doonesbury comic is based on Thompson), Gonzo Journalism, lived by doing, lived by his own rules, lived hard to the core.  More hard core than most people can handle.

But it's like this.  What is life if not hard core?  What is life if it doesn't feel like anything?  What is life if you die in a rocking chair at age 99 and all you did was read about and watch other people experiencing things?  I'd rather fall to my death in the Pyranese by slipping on mountain goat poop on some canyon wall trail this summer than die in my rocking chair after living a "safe" and "uneventful" life.

Hunter S. Thompson was a hero to me, but I'm not sad that he's gone, like I'm not sad that global warming is causing havoc around the world. Some eras come to an end, and the Good Doctor created an era, and now he has ended an era, and I'm just so damn lucky to  have had the opportunity to not only be a part of it but to feel the sweat on the Doctor's hand when I shook it for the final time when I left the Roaring Fork Valley back in 1998 and returned to the real world.

So to Duke, Doctor Gonzo, and  Hunter, I don't know where you are now, but I hope you're turning things over and causing the kind of trouble that make people question their own lives and realities, and pissing people off simply for telling it like it is.

The last savage journey, and you're on it.  So keep it real, keep it weird, and keep it going.

Book Reviews, 02/19/2005, 20:09:40

I like this book review stuff.  They send me a book for free, I go through it page by page and write down what I like and don't like, post it in the book reviews room, and then I keep the  book for my own studies.  Works out great!

Randy Halberstadt is sending me one of the new printings of his Metaphors for the Musician, and Paul Berliner is sending a copy of his Thinking in Jazz book for me to review here as well.

If anyone has a teacher or professor that has a book they would like to have reviewed here, ask them to contact me.

If I Should Lose You, 02/17/2005, 19:02:12

Been working on a tune from a recording called "The Genius of Wes Montgomery".

This is the first tune where I've really got a cool handle on harmonizing the melody using upper structure dominants.  Looking for that Bill Mays sound as I play through this one. It's going well and the solo arrangement is pretty solidified at this time.

A new piano, 02/15/2005, 00:56:11

Well, I decided to take the advice of some of the piano guys I really respect. Go into debt up to my eyeballs so that I can have a nice piano in the living room. So that's what is happening- I'm going to have ea 7'1" in my living room, put together custom just for me.  

(see the "Scot's Grand Piano Fund" link at the upper left of the screen)

His pianos sound great, feel great, and I can't wait to get it in.  It will arrive in approx 2 1/2 months, and then he'll need a couple weeks to make it sound and play the way I want.

I'm about as excited about something as I've been in a long time!

Financial Woes, 05/11/2004, 19:34:48

Any rich sponsors out there?  What happened to the good old days when kings and dukes would sponsor artists to do their thing.

How much great art is the world missing because people who should be exploring the beauty of painting, writing, music, and everything else, have no energy to do so because they spend time flipping burgers for eight hours a day?

I know a guy who is an amazing artist. Doesn't do any art, though, because to survive he works so much that by the end of the day all he can do is eat and sleep.

Seems a shame.

Well, that's why I'm not here much any more. Too much to do in the "real world" just to keep my financial boat afloat.  Things are very grim, but is that news?  Our jackass president is turning this country into something out of a book of bad jokes, so who am I to complain?

Slow!, 03/31/2004, 10:16:46

The site was slow as frozen monkey snot for a while today. At this time it looks like things are back up to speed. It always sucks when things get really slow because I never know if it's a software error or a server connectivity error.

Things could be worse, though :)

New compiled system, 03/26/2004, 09:24:16

Well, I'm going to turn on the new compiled system in a little while. I hope it works- a little bit worried that some things are still shaky.  We'll see what happens!

The timing is being rushed because new accounts on the non-compiled system are getting confused because the "click here to continue" has stopped working...

Swing Machine, 03/25/2004, 09:54:02

Well, Swing Machine going to be the name of it. I've got a great name but I'm keeping it secret (except from those who are in the Piano Guild).

First I have to learn Java :)  No small task, but I have a C and C++ (among many others) background and Java seems like a cookie cut from a similar mold.

It's exciting, really, I haven't programmed a windows/cross platform app for years and years. Look for a release sometime in the next 20 years :)

new software for jamming, 03/24/2004, 18:24:12

I've been thinking about making some software for musicians to jam to.  Similar to band in a box (biab) but a software that really lays it down.  Something that swings!

Swing is a language of music, and any language has rules, so a computer can be programmed to understand those rules.

Current jam programs just don't have the right rules in them.

I think I'll call the project, "The Swing Machine"

That's it for now!

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