Love Supreme took over a sun-drenched Glynde Place at the weekend, marking its debut with the highest praise from festival-goers and national press alike. The UK’s first outdoor jazz festival in nearly 50 years was spread over four venues, with headline performances from Bryan Ferry, Chic and Jools Holland.
The breadth of talent on show across the whole weekend was outstanding, moving John Fordham of The Guardian to reflect ‘by reviving the 1950s tradition of the outdoor Beaulieu jazz festival, promoters Jazz FM and their partners may find they have invented the British jazz world's Glastonbury.’
The opening evening featured spirited sets by The E.M.E and The Lost Organ Unit, followed by a DJ set with Chris Phillips and others from Jazz FM. On day two, the first act on the main stage were Naturally 7, an incredibly accomplished vocal group with an Anglo-American-Jamaican heritage whose superficial slickness frames a gospel-influenced approach to their jazz repertoire. Meanwhile in the Big Top, Courtney Pine once again proved why he is the UK ambassador for jazz.
As the evening neared, nine-piece US band Snarky Puppy were everything the crowd wanted them to be and more, showing superb musicianship, great arrangements and effortless command of rock and funk rhythms as they left their mark on the festival.
While the Sunday was headlined by one of the greatest musicians of our time, Jools Holland, the surprising star was vocalist Gregory Porter. Decked out in ‘Wimbledon white’, red bow tie and his familiar headgear, the singer was on magnificent form.
After a fantastic first year, Love Supreme will look to build on this strong foundation as it prepares to become even bigger and better in 2014.
To read The Independent’s five-star review, please click here.