legendary longevity ⏳


4.26.24

Happy Friday!

Greetings from Chicago, where Jazz at Lincoln Center has been playing with the symphony -- I've been blustered about by the famous wind and blown away by the band.


This week's pairing is the result of two gifts -- both wine and music found their way to me separately by way of generous friend and a generous acquaintance. If you're reading, thank you -- you both helped me make a special pairing that will (hopefully) be enjoyed by many more.


Juice

When you somm(elier) at a fancy restaurant, you learn how to talk about the great wines of the world before you know firsthand what they taste like. I knew how to speak of Guigal’s revered “La la” wines before I had any idea what they were really like.

Guigal is one of the most pivotal and revered producers in France's Northern Rhône valley. The La La wines (La Mouline, La Reynard, La Turque and La Landonne) are the best of the best -- minuscule in production, sought after and priced accordingly.

Reputation preceding any kind of pleasure presents a challenge. Will the real thing measure up to the description, the stories, the price, your imagination?

My friend, a collector but also a true lover of wine (they aren't always the same thing) opened a bottle of Guigal "La Turque" 1998 early in our evening together a few weeks ago. No question the wine was in fantastic shape. But it’s what happened over the course of hours open that was truly remarkable — it volumized, it became more nuanced, offering up more of itself over time and growing in dimension. If we hadn’t finished it over dinner I’m sure it would have continued to astonish us into the wee hours...


If I start writing tasting notes this will take more than a minute to read -- and while I usually like to suggest alternatives, there's an area of wine where there are none. I hope a bottle like this finds its way to you -- and if not, we have music to salve the sting.


Jazz

The greats of this art cast long shadows of reputation -- and when you're listening to them, sometimes reverence can cloud your connecting with the the music itself.

There are recordings that confirm ability and prowess, and others that reveal anew on every listen what all the hype was about in the first place. These albums give you the thrill of first discovery every time despite the reputation that precedes it.

The live recording of Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall (Sony, 1962) is one of these, captured when he was 36. For most artists this could be mid-career, but for Tony it was just the beginning of his generous output. His artistic longevity would extend decades upon decades into the future -- up until his passing last year.

Bennett's performance on this album illustrates how excellence offers power, personality and precision -- but greatness is in subtlety that's at once delicate and sturdy enough to hang your heart on.

Jerome Kern's "All The Things You Are" is an frequently played standard -- I don't think it's had a better sung vintage than this one.

artist
All The Things You Are (From...
Tony Bennett, Ralph Sharon &...
PREVIEW
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Cheers and thanks for tasting and listening with me,

Truly,

Kristen

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Jazz & Juice

NYC based jazz vocalist/songwriter/sommelier

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