One of the things I have been focusing on lately is my jazz piano skills, particularly in regard to the old songs and standards. I am trying to do more singing too - and so all in all, I'm basically trying to become a cocktail pianist. It feels kind of odd to be aspiring to be a cocktail pianist. I remember before I started getting more into jazz piano, I saw cocktail piano as being a little bit lame. Really! Old people drinking their sorrows away, singing songs no one sings anymore. Now I think it's a really romantic atmosphere, and I kind of like drinking more than I did, too.

I mean, I know how it (theoretically) hooks into my future goals. I learn more jazz piano and I get a richer harmonic palette. I learn more songs and I have more ideas for my own songs. There's a risk, though, to focusing a lot on jazz. A lot of musicians never find their way out.

Nevertheless, I've been happy to have some breakthroughs lately. I was able to sing/play I've Got You Under My Skin at mid-tempo all the way through by myself. What that means is, expanding out all the chords to comping, soloing, turnarounds, bassline, singing... all at once. I'm doing it badly, but I got through it.

And just now, I decided to give myself a recital, which is a step forward. I picked the twelve standards I'm most confident on, and performed them back to back, recording each one. I find it's about an hour of material overall. I'm about to listen to them. Kinda nervous.

By the way, remember that if you're a friend of mine, you can email me to request the username/password to my "Jazz Standards" page. That's where you can hear my jazz recordings, which I post fairly often. I can't make them publicly available because of copyright reasons.