Kelly Park: A View From the Piano Bench

A View From the Piano Bench – Kelly Park on Jazz and Life

One of our favorite titles of all Topos Books is Kelly Park’s entertaining discussion of musical theory and the realities of popular music – A View From the Piano Bench

Entertaining and with the intensity and honesty of a professional musician who intimately knows about the issues that he choses to write about, Kelly Park’s book is full of insights and valuable observations.

Caroline McCullough, national magazine for American Mensa, writes:

One gem I think would make a great gift for anyone who has an interest in music is Kelly Park’s “A View From the Piano Bench: A Case for Intellectual Music.” Park is a jazz musician (piano and drums) and teacher, but don’t think this is a book for only jazz aficionados. And although Park lists the genre as philosophy of music, don’t think that you have to be educated in either music or philosophy to follow. He’s a good teacher and a good writer.

This is a short book, only 74 pages, but the author manages to pack a lot into it. His writing is entertaining, his ideas clear. He’s not trying to convince you of anything. He’s trying to explain how his mind works and, because of the way it works, how he experiences and understands music.

The bonus is that a lot of what he tells you about music translates to life in general.

Caroline McCullough, book reviewer for the Mensa Bulletin

Who knew that the guy behind the piano – so accommodating to the audience, so supportive to his fellow musicians, could be so thoughtful, so opinionated, and so downright funny? A few paragraphs into this book, and it’s pretty clear that there’s a lot more going on in the mind and personality of a musician who is often ignored or taken for granted, than you might have expected. Kelly Park speaks for that most serious and least appreciated of those who have made their living (or in many cases, USED to make their living!) playing jazz. But this is not just a book for commiserating fellow musicians; his insights into how to be a thoughtful listener – how and what to listen for in any kind of music – will have value for all.

Bert Carelli

One of the things I liked about Kelly’s book was that he not only pays attention to what he plays, he also pays attention to music that he hears. He then has the ability to articulate his observations and views to us, well me anyway, that is comprehensible and clear to understand. He covers aspects of music that touch us emotionally and intellectually. His book will change the way you listen to music, but not break it down in such a way that will take away from its enjoyment. Coming from someone who has never sat behind the piano bench and played, he gave me an idea of what it takes to make music and the hard work and the creativity that goes into playing.


Clearly, Kelly Park’s book, “A View From the Piano Bench,” is a gem! It offers an entertaining and insightful perspective on musical theory and the realities of popular music. The book is not just for jazz aficionados; it’s accessible to anyone with an interest in music. Park’s writing is engaging, his ideas are clear, and his observations are valuable. The book is a short but impactful read that not only sheds light on music but also translates to life in general. It’s definitely a must-read for music enthusiasts and those looking for a fresh perspective on the art of music.

A View From the Piano Bench
Available here

Ask TAI about “A View from the Piano Bench” by Kelly Park

TAI has read all the reviews and has some ideas about music and popular culture on its own. Might surprize you 😉

Ask TAI (Topos AI)

Interested in Publishing with Us?

Posted in Topos Productions.

Leave a Reply