Music Review: Love Supreme Jazz Festival, Glynde Place, East Sussex
Nick Hasted has been a film journalist since 1986. He writes about film, music, books and comics for The Independent, Sight & Sound, Uncut and Little White Lies. He has published two books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), and You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), both from Omnibus Press.
Monday 08 July 2013
In an infinitely less muddy, far smaller way, the first Love Supreme festival is a Woodstock moment for British jazz: an often isolated tribe of fans realising there are more of them than they thought, and many others discovering they like jazz after all.
The perfect setting of a country estate nestled in the South Downs helps, as does perfect weather. More crucially, a bill mixing Bryan Ferry, Chic and Jools Holland with British jazz’s cutting edge and American stars means the quality rarely dips below the height of the endless sun.
The live debut of Bryan Ferry’s The Jazz Age album is one coup. As on the record, top British jazz players populate the Bryan Ferry Orchestra, but its instrumental Cotton Club restylings of his songbook wisely gain vocal help from the author. “Jealous Guy” proves Ferry puts a lyric’s emotion over with more stylish effect than most, in a happily unpredictable set which often veers into rock.
Nile Rodgers’ Chic, fresh from their Glastonbury triumph, also help the outreach effort to those who might not come for jazz alone. But the man who grew up as a jazz purist in Greenwich Village then turned disco into joyous art isn’t out of place anywhere. Chic don’t reach full exultant lift-off, but the hits still delight. Perhaps not as deeply, though, as Gregory Porter, the man most likely to bring jazz back into the mainstream. This barrel-chested, giant-hearted American tears the breaks off his baritone at the end of 'Work Song', roaring and leaping. '1960 What?' replays Martin Luther King’s assassination on a lazy Sussex afternoon, making the crowd beg for more.
Courtney Pine remains the UK ambassador for jazz as danceable, reggae-inflected entertainment, his skill on the soprano sax subordinate to making people move. His compatriot Gwyneth Herbert sings the shanties on her The Sea Cabinet album with happy, cabaret sensuality, detailing a relationship’s shipwrecked, sunken past in “I Still Hear The Bells”.
New Orleans’ Terence Blanchard shows how much fire and fun a classic jazz quintet can still stoke, while Miles Davis’ last right-hand man, bassist Marcus Miller, switches to sax for a song inspired by visiting slave-houses. This haunted, muted blues becomes redemptively blazing, reaching for and finding something potent in the moment. Like so much here it’s jazz, and music, at its best.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Star Wars: New action dolls launched on Force Friday ahead of The Force Awakens release
Ricki And The Flash, film review: Meryl Streep's rock'n'roll creation steals the show
Joan Aiken: Today's Google Doodle celebrates life of British fantasy novelist
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees