About Me - December 26, 2003

About this site

THE PURPOSE OF THIS SITE

I played the trumpet for about eight years until eventually quitting during college. After not playing for a period of seven years, I decided it was time to start playing again. When I began my trumpet playing comeback, I spent a fair amount of time looking for guidance on the Web. Along the way, I visited several websites and jazz blogs by professional jazz trumpet teachers and musicians. While I enjoyed reading these websites and blogs, they typically lacked information about HOW the people became great musicians... and that just happened to be something I wanted to know!

I did find a few exceptions, however, by both beginners and professionals. Their willingness to share their journey through ups and downs, inspired and motivated me to do the same.

I want to be clear: I'm not an expert. I don't think I'm a great jazz trumpet player, nor do I ever expect to become one. I'm simply learning as I go; playing for pure enjoyment. I built this jazz blog with the single hope that my experiences, both good and bad, will offer some encouragement or advice that will ultimately aid you in your own musical journey.

Oh, and my name is Rick...

THIS SITE'S NAME

Dexter Gordon, Doin AllrightI named my jazz blog after the George Gershwin tune "I Was Doing All Right." I first heard this tune about 15 years ago, on Dexter Gordon's album "Doin' Allright." The laid-back feel of the recording and the confidence exhibited by the musicians have inspired me ever since. Of course, the name also fits in well with my role as a comeback player :-)

To make things a little easier for my repeat visitors, I've also registered the domain name rickjazz.com. It's easier to remember than iwasdoingallright.com and it will get you here just the same (rickjazz.com does a redirect).

TECHNICAL INFO (for my geek readers!)

This jazz blog was designed and built from scratch, mostly during the last week of December 2003. All code is ASP.NET, with a SQL Server data source . This is the first complete website I've built with ASP.NET, and hopefully my last! Well, actually, not all of the code is ASP.NET. My ear training tool is a Java applet. In addition to the public pages that you see, I built an administration tool that I use for entering all of my jazz blog entries.

This is also the first site I've built that uses CSS instead of tables for layout. It was a total pain in the @ss getting everything to line up nicely in all of the major browsers, but after a few compromises, I managed to get things looking pretty good. And what do you know, the site is also XHTML and CSS compliant.

ABOUT MY DAY JOB

Nope, I'm not a professional jazz trumpet player (I know... big surprise!). Rather, I work as a web developer and software engineer for an IVR company. I mostly build Java-based tools for our voice application developers. The bulk of my work can be found at evolution.voxeo.com.

Comment by Cameron

Hey man, I just read that you're a web developer. That explains why your site is so solid. Nice.

I chose Blogger to host my main site, and have been developing forums and blogs to help improve upon the online jazz community. Sax is one focus, but jazz is the bottom line.

If you find the time to check out my blog, please tell me what you like/dislike, as I hope to improve it based on feedback from visitors.

Thanks!

Cameron

Comment by Jarrett Ellis

Hey, I've been playing for a while now, (about 20 years) and your site totally blew me away. I think it's a great idea and I admire you for having the guts to let people see into your practice room. I don't even like to practice with my wife in the house. Awesome Site, you sound great.

-Jarrett

Comment by Bill

Your site is well-designed and people's comments very helpful. Besides the usual things like scales, arpeggios, and long tones, I practice Lester Young and Billie Holiday tunes: This Year's Kisses; Mean to Me, Foolin Myself, etc. -- also some of the "easier" be-bop tunes. Some day I'll get better. Thanks for being so brave: playing trumpet is tough!

Comment by Kyle

Excellent site. I started fresh at age 31 and have been playing steady for last three years. I really appreciate your taking the time to put this together. I relate to it all, man. Love of the music, the horn, so on. Kudos.

Comment by Ola

I find this side,and want to thank you,that you wrote here so many things about jazz :)))

It`s something special feeling, when somebody try to find something diffrent, and suddenly drop in that side by chance,and stay here already.

Greetings from jazzy Cracow by trumpet player in skirt ;)

Your site is an inspiration to me in my trumpet playing, and my web development. I can't decide now if I should go practice, or get my site finished.

Hi Rick,

From my e-mail address, I'm sure you realize that I'm a jazz junkie. I'm also a photographer and I've photographed hundreds of jazz musicians, including Randy Brecker. A friend of mine (another jazz junkie) turned me on to your site. I must tell you what an outstanding website you've created I read with great interest your journey back to playing. I see your fire, passion and commitment and admire it so much. In some ways, I can relate to your situation. My photography is my passion and if I had to make a living at it, I would hate it! I make enough to pay my expenses, (sometimes). I also enjoyed your review of the master class that Randy Brecker gave. I'm surprised that we haven't met. I've been involved with jazz since 1976 and know all of the local musicians. Of course, I admit I don't go out as much as I used to. The only jazz club with any continuity is Churchill Grounds, and I haven't been there since Russell Malone sat in on a jam session on a Tues. nite with Danny Harper and friends. Actually the last time was when Vincent Herring played there. So it's been awhile. Perhaps your site can enlighten me on any clubs that feature jazz on a regular basis, as well as upcoming events. I like the Schwartz Center at Emory, Spivey Hall and the Ferst Center to see live jazz too.

Congratulations on your website. Even though I'm not a musician, I certainly can relate to many of the things you have written.

All the Best, Susan Rosmarin

Comment by Janet

Rick,

I happened upon your site today, and I have to tell you, you tell a tale of unrequited love for jazz that is similar to my own. I, too, quit singing about 1998 because it was just too difficult to gig and work in Washington, DC. I, too, made my living as a web developer (tho' I started out as a corporate librarian.) And I, too, want to come back because it is KILLING ME not to be able to sing! So, I have begun setting up my own home studio and learning BIAB, Cakewalk Sonar, etc. and plan to tackle Reason 4.0 next. I am fortunate that in addition to singing, I can play a little piano. The main difference between my story and yours is that I never studied music at the college level because my father let me know right away that music would not pay the bills. (He was an attorney who drummed on weekend - I do remember weeks when he made more as a drummer than as an attorney!) All of musical training is from either private lessons, workshops, or self-study. The best things I ever did for myself were to find a piano teacher who taught me theory and to study vocal jazz in Chicago with Janice Borla, Judy Niemack, and Janet Lawson. Barry Harris was also a source of inspiration when I met him at a workshop. He immediately invited me to NYC to his vocal jam sessions. I never got to go, but it was so great to have someone like him acknowledge the small talent that I have. I also have to credit the musicians I knew in Birmingham for helping me stay focused and motivated, particularly Cleveland Eaton. To top it off - I am now 57 years old, and I want to make a CD before my voice is too far gone to sound good. It's been really hard adjusting to the Atlanta scene because smooth jazz seems to be predominant here. So, I rock along, just working in my bedroom studio, working on a redesigned website, and trying to make a decent demo in hopes that I will play again in public. Thanks for listening. Janet

Oh, and you are right, not enough musicians use the web to best advantage!

ps My husband is from Kalamazoo and went to UM. Go Blue.

Comment by Oscar

Hey,

I´ve been using your ear training tool. It´s really good and it´s been a great help. Thanks a lot!!

Oscar

I found this site when looking for ear training information. The jazz caught my attention. This website has convinced me that I need to begin my ear training right now, instead of getting to it "later."

Your website is similar to what I hoped to create when I started my blog this year. The difference is mine is about drums.

Your Ear Training tool was mentioned today on the Harp-l discussion group about harmonica. As a harmonica teacher, I have been developing an instructional program that puts ear training at the very center. Your Ear Training tool fits perfectly with my needs. I will use it in my teaching, and I will ecnourage my students to use it. I will also write a blog post about it today www.bluesasianetwork.com.

THANKS!

Comment by Pete

Hey Rick,

I have spent the last hour checking out your site. Awesome stuff. I am glad to see more musicians talking about Jazz online. I wanted to drop you a line and tell you about a website I just started. It is called emusicsheets.com. It is a website devoted to downloading, uploading, talking about, requesting, and rating transcriptions from people all over the world. The website is a litte bit in its infancy right now, but I think with some word of mouth it become a really good educational resource for musicians- particularity Jazz musicians. Please check it out, download some music, upload some music or what have you. and tell your friends! Thanks for reading.

-Pete

emusicsheets.com

Comment by AJ

Hey Rick,

I have been visiting this site for about 5 years now. I want you to know that you are appreciated. I love coming here when I need to rejuvenate, refresh, check out what and who's happening in Atlanta, gather new info and techniques, or just to read! Thanks for this and keep it going.

Aj

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