1 August 2016

Live Review: Love Supreme Festival 2016

Love Supreme Festival

Glynde Place, near Lewes

Friday 1st July-Sunday 3rd July


    Friday evening began with a number of local bands performing at both the Bandstand and the Arena tent, with the unique sound of Leroy Horns’ Barnacles being well received along with the grooving Ezra Collective displaying their youthful virtuosity.

    If you wanted to hear some bebop at the Love Supreme Festival then you had to get there early to hear Chris Coull’s excellent tribute to Clifford Brown, joined by Matt Wates on alto saxophone.

    Liane Carroll was on top form presenting an upbeat set with a good mixture of standards.

    The main highlight of the festival, from a jazz perspective, was the fantastic vocals of Cecile McLorin Salvant who displayed an amazing low register and incredible vocal technique on versions of I Wish I Could Shimmer Like My Sister Kate and an inspired version of Burt Bacharach’s Wives and Lovers.

    Bernhoft cancelled due to illness, meaning a last minute time change for Ibrahim Maalouf, who was worth seeing.

    With only a brief set, Esperanza Spalding put on a very visual spectacle which was obviously an abridged version of a much larger theatrical piece. If there was an award for non-jazz theatricality though, it would surely have gone to Grace Jones, hula-hooping on stage and wearing a gold skull mask.

    The biggest disappointment of the festival was the combination of Brad Mehldau, John Scofield and Mark Guiliana, which was hampered by poor sound engineering and a general lacklustre feel. Whilst energetic towards the end of the set, the group never felt like they gelled together properly.

    Virtuoso bass legend Stanley Clarke put on a jaw-dropping display of technique on both double bass and bass guitar, although over-enthusiastic drummer Michael Mitchell tried to steal the show throughout much of the set.

    Sunday lunchtime saw Terry Pack’s Trees filling the Bandstand stage with a mixture of original compositions and original arrangements, and sounding tighter and more fluid than ever before.

    Also on the Bandstand, guitarist Paul Richards supplied vibrant and energetic latin sounds, whilst Jack Kendon & Imogen Ryall excelled with their original compositions. The Jamie Leeming Project also provided some interesting original material that was light and delicate, complemented by the vocals of Emily Dankworth.

    Binker & Moses were excellent in terms of interacting with one another, whilst Jacob Collier gave a very visual performance of his one-man show playing multiple instruments, often looped and accompanied by his unique vocal harmonies.

    As with previous years there was audible bleed from one stage to another, mainly due to the Arena tent, and the sound generally was overly-loud and bass-heavy, with horn sections and pianists sometimes being lost in the mix.


Charlie Anderson

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