Track Listing:

  1. Keep the Moon in Mind
  2. Douce France
  3. The Apartment Next Door
  4. I Wish You Love
  5. Little Miracle
  6. La Boheme
  7. Dans Tes Bras Mon Ange
  8. La Rua Madureira
  9. Silent Steps
  10. L'Hymne a L'Amour
  11. Saudade

Douce France Sweet France

Margot Sergent (Artist)

A new singer. With some new songs--and some familiar ones as well. A relatively new instrument for a jazz vocalist. And what is for me, essentially, a new language--I mean, I barely speak English, let alone French.

This is what I thought I would be concentrating on as I listened to Margot Sergent. To my surprise, I had an entirely different experience from the one that I was anticipating. Instead of thinking about the external forces shaping the music--some of which were highly notable, i.e., a bilingual French-born jazz singer who doubles on harp--I kept being drawn into the stories of the songs themselves.

The one that really grabbed me was the third track, The Apartment Next Door.I hadn't yet absorbed Margot's account of the writing of that song, so I found myself coming up with my own. As Margot tells it, it's about when a new neighbor moved into said apartment next door, who, over time, became her best friend--"a soul sister," as she puts it--who arrived in her life "exactly at the time I needed her the most, right next door." Margot further explains that "the song is to celebrate all chosen family members" and she's using that term to describe friends who become so close that they, in effect, become your new family, adding "and being grateful life will provide exactly what we need, in the most simple way."

That was Margot's take on her own song, but my listening experience was different: When she started singing, "Where will it be, your place or mine? The apartment next door," I started ruminating on the entire prospect of life in apartments. I was practically born in a NY apartment, and have lived my whole life thus far in one. The song inspired me to reflect on growing up, growing older, being single, being married, being divorced--rinse and repeat-- living a vital, full life, all within the confines of a Manhattan one bedroom. She set the melody in 3/4 time, which serves as a signifier to me of the cyclic nature of life.

Will Friedwald