Jazz & Juice

Down under and over....(back to writing!)

Published 8 months ago • 3 min read

Hello Dear Subscribers,

Since pausing the "Jazz & Juice" series for All About Jazz, I've been missing writing you -- I'm experimenting with a more personal, casual format here. I'd love your thoughts about it -- let me know!

Oh, and a reminder that reservations are open for the Gotham show on 9/28. I can't think of a better way to bring in autumn in New York than with fine dining and some extraordinary musicians.

Down Under and Over

The end of summer is an unraveling - and early fall the time to gather all our loose threads and do our best to weave them into something that can warm or adorn us in the upcoming season.

At least, that’s how I’m thinking of this moment.

I knew I wanted to write something about some of my summer experience to you — show your few of my beautiful threads, knowing that they might speak to your weaving. In other words, I suppose, make some recommendations.


I was fortunate enough to take a journey to Australia to visit Ted on tour with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Amidst all that was spectacular about being in Melbourne, seeing the JALCO, The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and a ninety person choir perform Wynton Marsalis’ “All Rise” was the apex experience of the trip.

I’m not sure you can say more about a piece than being left speechless — listening to this opus was a spiritual, physiological, psychological and philosophical experience. I don’t often make such bold pronouncements, but here goes: I believe it is one of the greatest works of art in any medium of our time.

That’s a grand statement, and it barely captures the magnitude of the work. There is a recording, let’s hope we get to hear it live in the States again soon.

In reading life, I came unfashionably late to the party of the Elena Ferrante novels this summer. All I can say is that the ‘Neapolitan Quartet’ books became a health hazard — they impeded my working, walking, cooking — I discovered new activities that could be done (poorly) while reading and have a few scrapes and a few lackluster dinners to show for it. I was spellbound by them. There’s a streaming series after the first book in the set now which I’m sure is excellent — but what a read!

The mystery of how she managed to do it eludes me —her style is sparse, direct — it was as if she created this invisible fascia in-between the words that strung them together and led me along.

I’ll be studying both of the above works in this new season as best I can— trying to get closer to the genius that made them. I’m sure they will be an education, but I thought I’d share the exhilaration of my first encounter with you.


I have got to tell you about the wine situation I found in Australia. A week in Melbourne got me much closer acquainted with the Victoria region, and I don’t think I could ever be bored here as a wine lover. I wasn’t surprised to find some Rhône-like syrahs that offered stylistic variety and elegance -- the cat is out of that bag -- but I was surprised to find Victoria has an array of producers working expertly with Italian wine varietals. I had a greco di tufo that tasted like the best I’d ever had from Italy, and some reds of undersung red varieties that were exceptional, and all priced kindly (the exchange rate helped, too.)

I always enjoy trying a lesser-seen grape in an unexpected place, and most times, the novelty is most of the enjoyment. Not so here — the delight of the unexpected was matched and exceeded by the pleasure of drinking simply excellent wine.

This is a cruel post, since most of this wine I’m waxing on about is on the other side of the word, (and I’m not sure producer lists are where I want to go with this little blog — if you want them let me know!) Thankfully there’s a stateside distributor that has some excellent offerings*, so I'll be able to keep up my studies this fall. That's a back to school assignment I can handle.

Till the next!


*Ben Haines is a great producer from this book from the region.

Fall and Falling with Kristen Lee Sergeant
New York, NY

PO Box 20264 NY NY 10023
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Jazz & Juice

a jazz singer/songwriter/sommelier pairs wine and song for you weekly

NYC based jazz vocalist/songwriter/sommelier

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