Review | Love Supreme Jazz Festival

Love Supreme Audience

Love Supreme Audience

Love Supreme Jazz Festival, Glynde Place, 4 – 6 July 2014

In the stunning and scenic setting of Glynde Place the second Love Supreme Jazz Festival had a tough job ahead – following a fantastic debut festival last year. This follow-up lived up to and exceeded expectations. With an impressive line up, which encompassed soul as much it did jazz, including the likes of Alice Russell, Imelda May, Laura Mvula, Lalah Hathaway, Chloe Charles and Laura Jurd – there was plenty at this year’s festival for both jazz purists and those hungrier for more mainstream affair.

Saturday saw the Mainstage open with Natalie Williams’ fantastic Soul Family band (we love them at Ronnie Scott’s each month, but their energy and was perfectly suited to this mass audience). Young vocalist Nikki Yanofsky performed in the newly named Ronnie Scott’s Big Top – she played her typical brand of bubblegum jazz but it was delivered via undoubted chops and a genuine understanding and respect of the material. Natalie Williams took to the stage for a second time in one day with a storming set in the Arena tent, drawing an impressive crowd and later that day, Laura Mvula played the Mainstage to an appreciative and chilled crowd. Lalah Hathaway was a real highlight of the day showcasing her incredible R’n’B vocal stylings in a full to bursting Ronnie Scott’s Big Top. Vocalist Georgia Mancio also impressed in her set at the Jazz FM programmed Matua Sessions.

Laura Judd 01 - Love Supreme 2014 - © Tom Gates - DSY Media

The rain fell on campers and revellers overnight, but Sunday eventually brought better weather and more jazz with it. Dionne Bennett was stirring with Slowly Rolling Camera in the Ronnie Scott’s Big Top and singer/songwriter Chloe Charles played a relaxed and cohesive set to a chilled crowd in the Arena tent. Charles played tracks from her recently released ‘Break the Balance’ as well as a beautiful rendition of ‘Soon on a Snowflake’ from her debut EP, which was unfortunately interrupted a little by sound overspill from the Mainstage. Trumpeter Laura Jurd drew a large crowd to her set in the Arena tent, with tunes from here incredible debut ‘Landing Ground’, while Alice Russell and Imelda May brought the house down on the Mainstage. Also of note was jazz vocalist Cecilia Stalin’s Arena set which saw her perform from her John Coltrane inspired ‘Step Like a Giant’ album.

The atmosphere was great across the whole weekend, even amidst the pouring rain on Saturday night, which certainly didn’t dampen any spirits. Festival producers had clearly taken note of comments on noise overspill from the inaugural Love Supreme and changed the layout of the festival arena this year, a definite improvement. Audience numbers also seemed to swell off the back of last year and all in all it was the perfect follow up. We hope Love Supreme and its gorgeous vibes, picturesque setting and jazz-brought-to-the-masses are here to stay.

Rosie Hanley

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