Review: Love Supreme Festival (Glynde Place, 30th June to 2nd July 2017)

Gregory Porter

The concept of an outdoor jazz festival hardly conjures images of glitter-filled Glastonbury excitement, a young hip crowd and dance-fuelled elation. However, previously exclusive jazz appears to be undergoing a fashion revolution and the grounds of Glynde Place hinted at this. Love Supreme, the UK’s only three-day greenfield jazz festival was sold out and attended by a wealth of young musos. The event proudly hosted a long list of contemporary names in the genre.

The celebration brought in large acts for their main stage line-up, most likely required to fund the event, but who can deny The Jacksons aren’t a guilty sweet pleasure? The real motivation for most attending an event like this is the discovery and relishing of smaller less-publicised acts as they attempt to step afoot the rungs of mainstream success.

Rising tenor saxophonist, Shabaka Hutchings, reserved his fair share of the line-up appearing in three acts: Shabaka and the Ancestors, Sons of Kemet, and The Comet is Coming. Immediate and rhythmically infectious Sons of Kemet were perfectly equipped for such a festival backdrop. Lilting elements of Caribbean, afrobeat, and New Orleans shuffles, dominated with funky angular melodies from the horns, contaminating the crowd with their pulsing swing. The crowd was dancing and spirits were lifted high with the melodies.

One of the most absorbing acts of the weekend were Nubiyan Twist who radiated carnival vibes to the sticky, almost tropical big top on the Sunday. With soulful Winehouse-style vocals and the heat of reggae, Ethio-jazz, and Latin spice, this was accessible and dance-friendly leaving you wanting more. An eleven-piece collective from Leeds, they mix acoustic and digital sounds and are unapologetically fun, dynamic, and upbeat. Front lady, Nubiyan Brandon, conducts the band with more grace and effortlessness than the most refined of ballet dancers, shimmying and raising her arms fluently in flow with the music.

The weekend was blessed with enough sunshine to fulfil our yearly quota, however, several bands had the tents bursting at the seams regardless of the heat. Laura Mvula, Herbie Hancock, and George Benson pulled the crowds with Hancock satisfying the crowds with pleasers such as Chameleon and Cantaloupe Island.

Sandwiching the first morning hangover slots and the last drunken come-down gigs of the night were lesser-known Kansas Smitty’s House Band, Camilla George Quartet, and TriForce.

East London’s Kansas Smitty’s House Band are a collective that perform bouncing swing, which takes you back in time to pre-1950s southern states of America when jazz was king and dance was queen. A favourite secret for many in London was that they run their own basement jazz bar, bringing in quality music covering jazz, soul, blues, and world. The band performed mainly originals to a waking-up but appreciative audience with impressive solos from the band members. It’s a shame the wake-up call came from the stage, maybe they could second line through the camp next time!

Camilla George Quartet, now based in London, are straight-ahead jazz with an added exploratory sense of freedom. George is making a name for herself on the jazz scene, but for this event’s performance, it was Sarah Tandy on the piano that really shone through. Tandy has a sense of runaway abandon as she plays her solos but keeps her bopping solid throughout.

South London TriForce are the newest kids on the block bringing tight soulful hip-hop to the late-night stage. They may just be paving a new way for Neo-Soul but this is yet to be seen. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on for the future.

The number of artists billed for the weekend is overwhelming and trying to see them all is a task that requires the finest of time management skills and just a little wizardry as the organisers overlap the artists. So, lie back and revel in the smug knowledge that a large number of these bands are based in London and regularly perform in town.

The non-UK groups also made an impact. Miles Mosley & The West Coast Getdown brought his psychedelic double bass led funk-rock to the stage. Mixing soulful pop vocals with dropping choruses through bass wah-wah effects that had the audience bouncing with their hands high in the air. This may be the closest thing to a rock set you will see in Glynde.

La Mambanegra is a Colombian group, showing the crowd how they salsa in the hometown of Cali atop the main stage. Hot 8 Brass Band bring the raw streets of New Orleans brass funk across the Atlantic. With their infamous cover of “Sexual Healing”, the crowd learned what it really means to ‘funk it up’.

Love Supreme may be helping sow the grass for a cooler jazz scene with their singular dedication, but I think they miss a trick. Although it genuinely attracts an assorted range of musos, there is still room for more diversity in the line-up. Even the biggest of jazz fans like to get down to other styles of music. Next year, I’d prefer to see a mixture of vocally led or performance-driven groups blended into the line-up.

Events By These Artists

Date Event name Artist City/Town Venue
17 May The Great Escape 2018 Sons Of Kemet Brighton Various Locations

Content Related To These Artists

Preview: North Sea Jazz Festival – AHOY (Rotterdam, Netherlands; Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July 2018

Over 1,000 musicians will come together in Rotterdam for the North Sea Jazz Festival, the largest festival in Europe for the genre. Not just solely focused on jazz, a diverse range of acts will be playing world-jazz, swing, Latin, African, soul and funk rhythms. Initially founded in the ‘70s, the…

Artists: Badbadnotgood , Cécile McLorin Salvant , Christian Scott , Oumou Sangare , Pharoah Sanders , Shabaka Hutchings , Sons Of Kemet

Album Review: Various Artists – We Out Here [Brownswood Recordings; February 2018]

Colours rise from dark contours as a London jazz renaissance takes form. Feeling both early and late, We Out Here captures the tones of this evolving shape.  Tenor saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings directs the way, bringing together a collection of his most in-demand friends on the new-jazz scene. Familiar names such…

Artists: Ezra Collective , Joe Armon-Jones , Kokoroko , Moses Boyd , Nubya Garcia , Shabaka Hutchings , Theon Cross , TriForce

Mixes: Groovalizacion Radio Best Albums 2017

Last year Groovalizacion Radio selected monthly the best albums for you. What better way to celebrate the new year than looking back at these fine albums from 2017? Out of our selections, we distilled a top 20 from the past year. The higher the album is ranked, the more it is supported by our…

Artists: Bargou 08 , Blay Ambolley , Dem Juju Poets , Doña Onete , Eddie Palmieri , Groovalizacion Radio , ÌFÉ , La Mambanegra , Lagartijeando , Magin Diaz , Msafiri Zawose , Nidia Gongora , Oghene Kologbo , Orchestra Baobab , Orchestre Mangelepa , Oumou Sangaré , Quantic , Rio Mira , Sibusile Xaba , Son Palenque , They Must Be Crazy , TootArd

Review: Tru Thoughts Records 18th Birthday Party @ Roundhouse (London, 21st October 2017)

A big revelry for exciting Brighton-based independent label Tru Thoughts, as they celebrated their coming-of-age with a punching all-day party! Full of friends and fans, there were queues to see their newest acts that not even a wink or a press pass could sneak you through. A sign that they…

Artists: Alice Russell , Anchorsong , Hot 8 Brass Band , Quantic , Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Preview: Tru-Thoughts Recordings 18th Birthday Party @ Roundhouse (London, 21st October 2017)

The last decade has seen a shift in the role of record labels in the music industry.  More artists are choosing to sign with independent labels to maintain creative collaborative control. Tru-Thoughts are a UK indie label based in Brighton, created in 1999.  Praised by Gilles Peterson, they have a…

Artists: Alice Russell , Hot 8 Brass Band , Quantic , Rodney P

Review: Ealing Jazz Festival @ Walpole Park (London, 29th July 2017)

Much like a charming village fete with a complimentary cleansing mud bath, Ealing Jazz Festival provided both entertainment and healing from the music and comedy of sliding from one stage to another. Unfortunately for the locals, this was the second week that the Walpole celebrations had been washed out. However,…

Artists: Courtney Pine , Faith I Branko , James Taylor Quartet , Matuki , Nubiyan Twist

Review: La Mambanegra @ Pavilion Terrace (Manchester, 14th July 2017)

A grey, dank Friday evening welcomed Colombia’s La Mambanegra as guests of the Biennial Manchester International Festival. The tent interior was wrapped in black and fans gathered, sitting cross-legged, waiting for the band. Hailing from Cali, the nine-piece La Mambanegra (The Black Mamba) take to the stage, safe in the…

Artists: La Mambanegra

Album Review: La Mambanegra – El Callegüeso Y Su Mala Maña [Movimientos Records, 3rd March 2017]

With his characteristic hat and sunglasses comes El Callegüeso (Jacobo Vélez) and his ‘Colombian Break Salsa’. This new release further advances La Mambanegra’s style, featuring a diverse range of artists, along with Colombian orchestral support. A mixture of elements (Latin jazz, rap, bomba style, choruses, solos, tumbaos and ballad) combine…

Artists: La Mambanegra

Album Review: The Comet is Coming – Channel The Spirits [The Leaf Label, 1st April 2016]

When the sound of a band needs more than one word to be defined, it’s usually a good sign. The Comet is Coming’s new album Channel The Spirits slips between the borders of very different genres – jazz, acid, electronica, psychedelic rock, shaping the band’s very own definition of sound…

Artists: The Comet Is Coming

Interview: Shabaka Hutchings – Sons of Kemet (August 2016)

Sons of Kemet are no longer a fresh faced new group on the London music scene. After five years and two successful albums, their name has spread far-and-wide becoming a sought after act. Their music is more eclectic and harder to define than ever, but that doesn’t prevent it is enthralling. In…

Artists: Shabaka Hutchings , Sons Of Kemet

Album Review: Shabaka and the Ancestors – Wisdom of Elders [Brownswood, 16th September]

Shabaka Hutchings is a musician curious about the relationship between modern and traditional music. His latest free-jazz recording is dedicated to his vision of reimagining the spirit of his African influences voiced through the rich musical languages spoken by his South African band members. Wisdom of Elders was penned across a number of exploratory…

Artists: Shabaka and the Ancestors

Album Review: Nubiyan Twist – Siren Song [Wormfood Records, 27th May 2016]

Following their highly celebrated debut album in 2015, the eclectic 12-piece band from Leeds, Nubiyan Twist, is back with their new EP, Siren Song. And what an apt name for this second album, which allures and entices its listeners in many unexpected ways, from its dance-inducing funk groves and intoxicating…

Artists: Nubiyan Twist

WOMAD 2016 Highlights: Friday

Our top 5 discoveries for Womad festival’s first full day, Friday, showcase the rich and varied styles that WOMAD 2016 has on offer. In our pick there is music from Spain, Lebanon, Mali, Scotland and Colombia – you can’t get more diverse than that! La Mambanegra got us off to…

Artists: Bamba Wassoulou Groove , Buika , Grit Orchestra , Ibrahim Malouf , La Mambanegra

Interview: Nubiyan Twist (July 2016)

One of the most exciting names on the UK music scene is also one of its most indefinable and difficult to pigeonhole. That’s because the musical ‘dirty’ dozen Nubiyan Twist (in honour of its front woman) dislikes definitions, labels or borders. The band, originally from Leeds, London, Oxford and Dublin…

Artists: Nubiyan Twist

Review: The Hot 8 Brass Band @ Electric Brixton (London, 26th May 2016)

Welcomed by a packed and doting Electric Brixton, The Hot 8 Brass Band met expectations: larger than life, feel-good and undoubtedly, infectiously groovy. Before the brassy boy entered, the muso Brixton crowd were well warmed with the reggae delights of the Ragga Twins. From their straight-up Jamaican vibes, to their…

Artists: Hot 8 Brass Band

Review: Sons of Kemet @ Village Underground (London, 25th May 2016)

Indulgent, complex, studied and immediate. Sons of Kemet’s criminally conceptual rhythms belie the overriding catchiness of a sound that dishes out hooks a plenty. Ominous lighting introduced the band who kicked things of with Tom Skinner and, newly cropped, Seb Rochford battering syncopated West African rhythms. This was tribal jazz…

Artists: Sons Of Kemet

Album Review: La Mambanegra – La Galeria [Afropicks, 21st January 2016]

La Mambanegra, the excellent Colombian dance orchestra is on a mission to, “bring a new concept of salsa and Latin music to the world.” Colombia is the birthplace of the now infamous cumbia that made its way up the Magdalena River to receive an almost mythical status as a musical…

Artists: La Mambanegra

Preview: WOMAD Charlton Park 2016 (Malmesbury, 28th – 31st July)

WOMAD UK 2016 edition will also be the 10th on the grounds of Charlton Park, that’ why the organisers are already going all out to celebrate the anniversary… You just have to take a glance at the first name announced for the upcoming 34th edition of the event, which will take…

Artists: Afriquoi , Aziza Brahim , Baaba Maal , Baloji , Dom La Nena , George Clinton , Hot 8 Brass Band , Ibrahim Malouf , Moh! Kouyaté , Sidestepper

There are no comments

Add yours

Get an exclusive FREE compilation album each month compiled by us
Just sign up to our FREE monthly newsletter
Your e-mail address will not be passed on to anyone!
Never display this again