i've pretty much done it all and have no desire to continue doing it.  i like to play tunes in my office where i can play anything i want, whenever i want, anyway i want, and if i screw up, no one gives a shit but me - no money riding on it - no more playing for others - just me:)

cynical? probably

miserable old man? not really, just enjoying other aspects of life.

the first cd i ever played on (aside from demos and shit like that) was jim chapin - solos and stories. (harry chapin's dad - wrote a legendary jazz drumming technique book in the 40s) we did the entire cd in about four hours with no rehearsal, and boy does it sound like it....the worst part though, is my playing.  when i got my copy in the mail i couldn't wait to hear it. i somehow thought the recording process would make things better. when i heard my playing, i was borderline suicidal; for months.  i realized though that i had defined all my self-worth by my musicianship - and that was a huge mistake.  nevermind the fact that i really had zero experience at that sort of thing. i'm still working on overcoming it.

i've also realized, that while playing tons of different types of gigs over the years was fun, paid the bills, afforded me quality time with my sons and very educational, somewhere along the line i lost why i got into music in the first place...in other words, who the hell is rick zelle?  maybe i'll find out now that i've jumped out of the race:)

so, sid, you sound like you're doing all right to me:)

~ there--how's that for some venting?
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Jazz Piano Notebook Series
Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 1 - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.

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Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.

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Volume 4 is by Jeff Brent, a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and author of "Modalogy" and other acclaimed jazz theory and education books. In this book Jeff shares detailed analysis of transcriptions of live performances. He covers everything from the shape of the songs to the tricks and licks he uses in improvised lines to the ideas behind his lush chord voicings.

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