unexpected ingredients 🥜


Happy Friday!

I'm excited to welcome some new subscribers today, and of course welcome you returning back - just a reminder, all the past Friday's pairings can be found here.

Onto the wine & song!


I couldn’t resist this week’s wine when I saw it on the shelf — I'm usually lurking around the Piedmont section of any store, and I found this bottle irresistible since it contained many grapes that I’d never heard of.

So I opened Coutandin’s Pinerolese Ramìe 2019 with anticipation, wondering what a blend of Avanà, Chatus, Bequet, Avaregno and Barbera (I know that one at least!) would taste like.

It was as quirky as it was well made: a natural wine, grown at very high altitude and in small quantity. I noticed herbs and earth on the nose with a cinnamon tickle on the nose, compact fruit that was matched by acid giving it a lengthy and delicately-tannined finish. To drink it was to be made both curious and energized.

Wine is a practice of keeping tradition alive — in cases like this one, it’s also literally about keeping some grape varieties alive by continuing to see them planted and vinified. This was a rare treat of living history.


Thelonious Monk’s music always delivers both mastery and eccentricity. “Skippy” (Blue Note, 1952) was my tune pick for this week — it’s one of his most challenging pieces with vertiginous leaps in the melody and bars packed with diminished harmonies. For a musician, it requires deep listening, dexterity, and a good dose courage; for the listener, a sense of adventure.

The song brings to mind a demented fanfare, arresting now (and certainly more so in Monk’s time.) While its sheer difficulty and density is obvious, it’s also addictively listenable and exhilarating: all that sophistication is in the service of pure delight.

I was blown away by Ted Nash’s arrangement of this tune for big band at his Dizzy’s gig this past week -- and especially Helen Sung’s hurricane of a solo on the piece. Jazz’s tradition is alive and well in those (very fast moving) hands.

Skippy - Remastered 2013
Thelonious Monk
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Hope you enjoyed this one! Let me know what you think.:)

Till Then,


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Jazz & Juice

NYC based jazz vocalist/songwriter/sommelier

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