does anyone know any parker play-alongs which are not so damn fast?
some of these aebersold things are much faster than parker recorded the tunes!!!!
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those aren't the only aebersold playalongs that are way too fast. i gave up and just started using band-in-a-box midi sequences: you can contstruct a chorus or two in 2 for the head and then a single chorus in 4 that you can loop forever and set at any tempo you like. no, it's not live musicians, but the ones on the aebersold recordings aren't listening to you either. i find the sequences perfectly adequate for practicing, and much more forgiving.
there are plenty of great aebersold play alongs that are at various tempos.

look at the first few volumes.  "getting it together" goes through 2-5-1's and maybe rhythm changes also.  "the blues" has blues in all keys at various tempos.

you don't need the parker aebersold volume to practice rhythm changes, just get the other one, or as you say, use band in a box. heck, i use band in a box sometimes, it's a great metronome because it also has bass lines and such... sure, they sound funny, but it's more interesting than "tick tock tick tock"  :)
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"the ones on the aebersold recordings aren't listening to you either"

a funny thing happened to me once when i was jammin´ with an aebersold track (which i hadn´t played to before). i was playing this repetitive rhythmic figure and suddenly the rhythm section tagged along with it! talk about coincidence...
i should mention- no one should rely on aebersold!  

using aebersold will help you play all the right notes, all the right licks, give you something to really work with, however, aebersold records can also be a musician's worst nightmare.

take my brother for example. he was a student of don lanphere and don loved aebersold records.

the only problem, after five years of jamming with aebersold, my brother didn't know how to play with live people.

he had no communication skills, we didn't know when he was going to end, where he was going, he just played and it didn't matter what the rhythm section did.

it's a two way street.  the soloist builds off of ideas the rhythm section does, and vice versa.  it should not be "mr. sax and his backup rhythm section."

if it's that, then you don't have communication.

luckily, my brother was able to scrape out of that hole relatively quickly being the monster sax guy that he is, but there are so many so called "great" players out there who have no idea what the rhythm section is doing, hence, they don't sound as good as they should.

so, use aebersold to get a handle on chord changes at tempo, but don't overuse it because it will hurt your playing in the long run.

spend the extra half hour it takes to organize some guys to come over to your house so you can jam together as humans.  

it's funny, all these colleges of music and universities and such.  sax players can graduate with a degree in coltrane (or sound like they did, rather), pianists with powell and herbie, but the graduates get into the real world and realize they learned nothing about playing as a pro.  all they learned was how to be an artist, and you aren't going to make a living as a 22 year old artist.

bottom line, make it as real as possible as much as possible, then you'll become the kinds of musicians that will be hired on a regular basis and will be able to communicate not only with the guys you're playing with, but with the people that are listening to you.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
try to get the ones with ron carter, like the ellington volume or "payin dues." carter's the best bass player to play with in the aebersold series. carter  grooves more than the other cats. i avoid the tod coleman (bass) volumes at all costs!
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