i'm sharing with all of you this lesson in order to develop the subconscious metronome:
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i understand that to be in time, to play the notes where they belong timing wise is a question of rhythm, not so much of counting.

but if you don't count at all, how do you know that e.g. 8 measures are over? is that also based on feeling the rhythm?
actually i have a few thoughts regarding this topic but i am going to start by simply quoting a story i heard my doctor tell last night.  i think it has a lot of meaning regarding this subject:

"q: how can you tell when a singer is knocking on your door?

a: she doesn't know when to come in."

if you do not understand the story my doctor told it is a joke about how singers often do not know how to count and how that can often be a disaster for bands while performing for audiences.  obviously my doctor is also a musician and a very wise man.
it seems to be easier to stand before that door and look at your watch to see that you shall enter at 3:30 than to make a group conversation at the same time without coming too late.
to me counting is a very necessary tool.  true, i don't actually count when i'm playing, but that is because i have already learned what i am playing.  when i have to figure out a rhythm that looks is recognizable, i count.  if i have several measures of rests in a chart, i count.  ifi have 9 measures rest then i'm supposed to come in on the and of 3 in measure 10, i will be counting for sure.
that should read...

"when i see a rhythm that looks unrecognizable, i count"
the fact is that professional musicians must be able to play very well while counting and while not counting. there are situations that call for counting and situations that do not.  but clearly the having the ability to count well is often what makes the difference between a professional and an amateur.  so when albetan says  
""don't count while playing...please leave that job to accountants."
this may make sense in the very limited context of one small musical exercise but in the larger more important business of learning jazz piano it would be a big mistake to not learn how to count and learn how to count very well.  not only do i not leave counting to accountants... i do not have one student who can not count better than accountants.  by their second lesson i have kids running around my house with me or in the summer time sometimes around my yard yelling "1,2,3,4.  i try to make it as fun as possible because as i tell them we are going to be doing a lot of counting and we are going to have fun doing it.  no accountant has ever enjoyed counting like my students do and no accountant counts as good either.  i really question an accountants ability to count anyways.  i have them do my taxes because i do not understand tax law not because i think they can count.  in fact i always double check their math.
in alll bars of a songÖ.  so if you see a silence of 8 bars in your score, as mentioned by crsto2 and dr.wack, you must count it.  

all your suggestions and comments are welcome here.
i learned to play by counting at conservatory of music, and i did it successfully for many yearsÖ. thatís the tradition in music teaching.
but i discovered that it is more easy to play by feeling the pulse of rhythm than by counting beats and fractions of beats, and now iím sharing this nice secret with all my friends here in ljp.
  thatís true; i agree with him.  some musicians discover that they play very well while not counting simply by feeling the pulse of rhythmĒ

while minus job do your conscious mind while playing, your music will be better and easier.  

i invite to all my friends to try to develop their subconscious metronome with those practical exercises.
albetan: "so if you see a silence of 8 bars in your score, as mentioned by crsto2 and dr.wack, you must count it. "
how do you do it if it's not 8 bars of silence, but 8 bars of solo for yourself? do you count while soloing or do you feel the 8 bars?
when soloing in an ensemble, there are many clues to feeling the 4th bar or the eighth bar. there is generally some kind of climax at this point.

and if you're playing with a drummer that's worth their salt, they'll always make it
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