By Rick Forest

Well, here we are, just you and me and the hunk of newsprint in your hands (ok, maybe a CRT). It's the first of, hopefully, many articles where we can talk about what's going on in the Louisville jazz scene and possibly come away with a better appreciation for each other as jazz fans. I can guarantee that we won't always agree, but let's keep it civil. I won't cast aspersions on your parentage if you won't on mine.

First a quick quiz: A guy walks up to a musician standing on a New York street corner and asks, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" The inevitable answer is A: "Two blocks down on your left." B: "Who wants to know?" or C: "Practice, man, practice." If you said "A," you aren't hip to the scene and need to work for AAA. If you said "B," you need to lay off watching "The Sopranos." If your reply would have been "C," you earn your union card (sorry Tim, I'm working on it slowly).

Practice makes perfect, they say. But along the way a little instruction helps, too. When it comes to Jazz instruction, you're never too old to go to summer camp. That's where Jamey Aebersold comes in. Maybe you've seen his two-page ads in Downbeat for instructional books and play-along records. Perhaps you've caught him at the TwiceTold Coffeehouse. Well, this month all the stops come out, as he presents his 30th Annual Summer Jazz Workshop at the University of Louisville School of Music on July 1-13.

Jamey brings in a faculty of top-drawer, regionally and nationally recognized musicians to lead beginning and advanced students in workshops on improvisation, ear training, theory and small group performance. They are familiar names to those who follow the Jazz scene: Eric Alexander, David Baker, Don Braden, Jerry Coker, John Fedchock, Rufus Reid and Steve Davis are among the national artists represented. But that doesn't mean that some of our own local stars are neglected. You'll find Dick Sisto, Tyrone Wheeler, Mike Tracy, Jerry Tolson, Dick Washburn, Jason Tiemann and Scott Henderson teaching as well. The old adage, "Those who can, do and those who can't, teach" does not apply here. You can find out for yourself in a series of Faculty concerts held at 7:30 p.m. in Comstock Concert Hall at U of L each Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of the two weeks of the workshop. In addition, there will be a big faculty blowout on the 4th and 11th at Masterson's on Third Street, beginning at 8 p.m. For $10 at the door ($8 for Louisville Jazz Society members), you'll hear three acts each night, a bargain at twice the price.

If you're in the mood for a road trip, check out the Indy Jazz Fest from the 9th through the 15th. There's jazz for every taste, ranging from Count Basie's band, led by Grover Mitchell and featuring vocalist Dianne Schuur; Kenny Garrett's Quartet; organists Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Smith and Terence Blanchard with vocalist Jane Monheit, to more contemporary sounds from Astral Project, Los Hombres Calientes and The Rippingtons. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and information can be found at www.indyjazzfest.org http://www.indyjazzfest.org/.

Appearing at the Indy Jazz Fest and here in Louisville will be the Jazz Mandolin Project. If you don't want to drive all the way to Indianapolis to see them, they will be appearing as part of Winkfest 2001 on the Bearno's Softball Field at 130 N. Spring Street on Saturday, the 14th. Gates open at 2pm, tickets are available from Ticketmaster, ear X-tacy, Grateful Threads and Kentucky Hemp Outfitters. Jamie Masefield has brought his band (in various incarnations) to Louisville several times in the past several years and puts on a good show.

So, the first column is about over. I promise that it will get better. If it doesn't, I'm out of a gig. If you have any news, gossip, jokes and the like, be sure to let me know. You can reach me at rforest@wfpk.org, or 502-814-6518. Leave me a message and I'll try to get back to you. Well, the clock on the wall tells me that it's time to head out and make room for Echoes .... wait, that's my other gig ... anyway, get out and hear some live music this month. We sure appreciate when you listen to the radio (especially when you contribute), and buying records you find reviewed here makes the artists happy, but there is nothing quite like the thrill of being there when the music is being made. It's not unlike that proverbial box of chocolates.

Rick Forest is the genial host of Jazz Etc., heard weeknights on 91.9 FM, WFPK and can be reached for general abuse at rforest@wfpk.org