By Rick Forest

Thanks for all of the great responses to last month's Jazzin' where I asked you to tell me where you most like to hear jazz in Louisville. I'm going over your suggestions and look for features on some of those places in future columns. This month I solicit your suggestions on another topic. We're looking to make some changes in the jazz programming on WFPK, Radio Louisville. Don't worry, we're not looking at dropping jazz from the format, we're just looking to tweak the programming a bit. A lot has happened in the past few months, namely the untimely death of long time midday host Phil Bailey. Many of you have expressed to us how much you miss Phil, please know that we do too. Replacing Phil is an impossible task, so now we're looking at how to move forward without him. James Bickers has been doing an admirable job with a difficult task and will continue in that time slot for the foreseeable future. We appreciate him stepping in like he has and working to juggle that show with his already very busy schedule. A staff "jazz retreat" is in the works and while we're sorry that we can't invite each and every one of you to attend, your input is certainly welcome.

Tell us what you like about the jazz programming on WFPK. Tell us what you'd like to see changed. Does "smooth jazz" have a place on the station? Since nobody else in town seems to be doing much with it, should we include more Boney James, Rick Braun or Warren Hill, or perhaps more of the "legacy" artists such as David Sanborn, George Benson, Joe Sample or others? How about "classics?" We try to squeeze a few in each hour. Do you want more? Our Sundays feature several locally produced shows like John LaBarbera's Best Coast Jazz, Leslie Stewart's Criss Cross, Dick Sisto's Inner Ear and Jazz Folio, and of course, our own esteemed leader Gerry Weston with Gerry's Jazz. The rest of the 12-hour jazz block consists of syndicated programming from NPR and PRI. Does this mix work for you?

One thing that will be changing is our jazz feature album each night on Jazz Etc. Due to some agreements reached on the use of programming on the Internet, we will no longer be able to play albums in their entirety each evening. Unfortunately, this is something that I have no control over. The decision had to be made concerning which was more important- streaming audio over the Internet, or playing albums. I agree with the decision that was made. In fact, when Jazz Etc. began in 1996, as we made the change from WFPL to WFPK, I tried to change the way in which the album of the night was featured. Instead of playing the album all the way through, I wanted to feature tracks from the album at different parts of the show. That change was met with a great deal of resistance and I relented. This time I cannot, but you have the opportunity to make suggestions on how new and classic albums can be brought to your attention.

There are three ways you can respond. One, email me at rforest@wfpk.org. Another is to fax your ideas to 814-6599. Make sure you put my name at the header so that I get it. With over 50 employees in the building, it's easy for a message to get lost. If you want to use the postal service, mail your thoughts to:

Rick Forest


619 S. 4th St.

Louisville, KY 40202

I suppose as a last resort you could drop comments off at our front desk, just be nice to Carrie, our receptionist if you do.

Next month we'll talk about this year's Summer Jazz Workshops that Jamey Aebersold brings to UofL each year. As always, Jamie brings a stellar faculty to town and gives you an unprecedented opportunity to hear some great music at a very reasonable price. This year Jamie brings to town Jerry Coker, John Fedchock, Denis DiBlasio, Don Braden, Steve Erquiaga, Andy Laverne, David Friesen and a host of others for two weeks of concerts. There will be free concerts during the week at UofL and two concerts at Masterson's for only $10 each. You'll hear more about all of that in next month's Jazzin'.

In the meantime, send in your suggestions for the jazz programming on WFPK, and by all means, get out and hear some live music this month!