Having arrived in 2013 with glorious weather, a strong mix of jazz, funk and soul and garnering much critical praise, and a second year attendance in 2014 with over 20,000 people across the weekend, the Love Supreme Jazz Festival is gearing up for its third edition from 3-5 July 2015.

Set in the idyllic surroundings of Glynde Place in the Sussex Downs, just next to Glyndebourne Opera house, the festival’s first two editions successfully balanced accessible main stage headliners such as Courtney Pine, Gregory Porter, Jamie Cullum, Esperanza Spalding and Snarky Puppy alongside a vibrant mix of big name jazz artists appearing in the Ronnie Scott’s Big Top such as Dave Holland, John Scofield, Marcus Miller, Robert Glasper and Chritsian McBride. The Arena Stage also showcased the UK’s rising stars such as GoGo Penguin, Roller Trio, Laura Jurd, Melt Yourself Down, Polar Bear and Slowly Rolling Camera as well as bringing in burgeoning Brighton-based talent on the Bandstand Stage and up-and-coming jazz and blues names on the Matua Sessions Stage.

Festival director Ciro Romano commented on the upcoming third edition of the festival:
“We are absolutely delighted to confirm that the Love Supreme Festival will return for its third year. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received and by how popular the event has become in such a short space of time. Next year’s festival will undoubtedly be the biggest and best yet and we have some very exciting acts lined up."

Love Supreme 2015 takes place from 3-5 July and artists appearing will be announced shortly. Early bird tickets are available for a limited time from 1pm Thursday 13 November. Details of all ticket prices can be found at www.lovesupremefestival.com


– Mike Flynn

Saxophonist and composer Phil Meadows (above right) is set to launch his ambitious Engines Orchestra project’s debut album, Lifecycles, at the EFG London Jazz Festival on Saturday 22 November at 3pm, Hall Two, Kings Place. The project brings together 20 musicians from both jazz and classical worlds with Meadows’ core Quintet of rising stars including trumpeter Laura Jurd, pianist Elliot Galvin, bassist Conor Chaplin and drummer Simon Roth, all combining on expansive, richly textured original music. Notable guest musicians in the ensemble include dazzling violin and vocalist Alice Zawadzki (above centre) who makes a key link between the larger group and the quintet and contributes soaring jazz-folk vocals to the heady blend of sounds, while harpist Tori Hansley adds a sonic shimmer to the surging strings and brass.

This is Meadows’ second album, following his well-received June 2013 debut, Engines Of Creation, which featured his core quintet. He subsequently went on to win the prestigious Peter Whittingham Award, and also picked up the Jazz Newcomer Of The Year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in May this year. Backed by Arts Council England and Help Musicians UK the Engines Orchestra plans to expand into an umbrella organisation that works with other artists on large-scale collaborations, continues to grow its educational outreach and offers performance advice for aspiring musicians through its record label.

With Lifecycles set for release on 24 November on the Engines Imprint label, Jazzwise is pleased to be able to exclusively offer listeners a chance to hear
the track 'Remembrance', see below, which is “a homage to those that are taken from us too soon”, and features Tori Handsley on harp, Elliott Galvin on piano and Alice Zawadzski on vocals.

– Mike Flynn

For more info on the album launch go to www.kingsplace.co.uk

Marquis Hill ascended to the top at the 27th annual Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition on 9 November at Hollywood’s glamorous Dolby Theatre. The 27-year-old, Chicago-native won a $25,000 music scholarship and a recording contract with Concord Records.

Accompanied by the competition trio – drummer Carl Allen, bassist Rodney Whittaker and pianist Reginald Thomas – Hill showcased his mellifluous tone and melodic, assured approach to improvisations on two classic ballads – Frank Loesser’s ‘If I Were a Bell’ and Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke’s ‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams’. Hill thoroughly impressed the panel of judges, which consisted of Randy Brecker, Quincy Jones, Roy Hargrove, Arturo Sandoval, Jimmy Owens and Ambrose Akinmusire.

On the former, Hill animated the melody with sleek passages that developed knottier as the song progressed. It became a fine vehicle for his fluid, seemingly effortless virtuosity as well as his keen interactive skills. But it was his transfixing reading of ‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams’ that really sealed the deal. He zeroed in on the sensual contours of the melody by articulated it a captivating languid manner that allowed listeners to luxuriate in the sound of his horn, especially on his cadenza toward the end.

Prior to the Monk Competition, Hill was a winner at the 2013 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition and the 2012 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition. He gained a lot of bandstand experience from playing with Windy City figures such as trumpeter Tito Carrillo, saxophonist Fred Anderson and pianist Willie Pickens. Also, Hill has a noteworthy discography consisting of four discs. Including the recently released, Modern Flows EP Vol 1, which meshes modern jazz with hip-hop, R&B and spoken word. Nevertheless, it’s ballads that are closet to his heart. “From a very young age, I was attracted to ballads,” Hill said after the event. “So I knew that I wanted to play a beautiful ballad during the finals and semifinals. I think it’s extremely important to be able to communicate over a ballad.”

Brooklyn’s Adam O’Farrill, the 20-year-old son of pianist, bandleader Arturo O’Farill and grandson of the legendary latin jazz legend Chico O’Farrill, also shined brightly. During the semifinals at University of California Los Angeles’ Schoenberg Music Hall, he gave one of the most suspenseful performances from the 13 semifinalists. On Billy Strayhorn’s ‘U.M.M.G’ and Thelonious Monk’s ‘Ask Me Now’ O’Farrill honed a buttery tone and fashioned elliptical improvisations that often arrived way behind the beat and unraveled in unexpected twists that revealed capricious displays of tension and release. He capped off his semifinal performance with a thrilling rendering of Charles Mingus’ skulking, ‘Pithecanthropus Erectus’.

O’Farrill’s maturity beyond his years and improvisational inventiveness made him an undisputed candidate for the finals. His conceptual approach to melody and improvisations got the best of him though during the finals as he fumbled through an inchoate cadenza at the beginning. He launched into a comely original ballad but still didn’t seem to fully recover on Monk’s “Criss-Cross.” He took home the third prize of a $10,000 music scholarship.

Billy Buss, 26-year-old alumni of the Berklee College of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance from Berkley, Calif., won the second prize of $15,000 scholarship, by exciting the crowd during the finals on a frisky take of Clifford Brown’s ‘Brownie Speaks’. Of the three finalists, he showcased the most crackling of virtuosity and the brightest of tones. When he improvised, fusillade of notes burst with the marksmanship precision. He followed up the bebop standard with an exploratory original, ‘The Quotablues’, that begin with an abstract cadenza, marked by smears and zigzagging phrases, before seguing into an amorous balladry.

Before the announcement of the winner the Monk Institute threw a star-studded gala in honor of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who in 1993 hosted a major jazz concert at the White House. In addition to a litany of jazz notables such as Wayne Shorter, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Heath, Stefon Harris, Joshua Redman and Kris Bowers, the list of Hollywood celebrities at the gala included actors Goldie Hawn, Don Cheadle and Kevin Spacey, who crooned a swaggering rendition of Bart Howard’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’. Dee Dee Bridgewater and Dianne Reeves delivered two respective noteworthy performance of Gershwin’s ‘Lady Be Good’ and ‘Love Is Here to Stay’. Queen Latifah turned is a delightful reading of Harry Rosenthal’s “Georgia Rose” as did Chaka Khan on Gershwin’s ‘I Love You Porgy’.

Jazz gave way to the blues during the second portion of the gala thanks to a greasy rendition of the Crusaders’ 1972 honky-tonk classic ‘Put It Where You Want It’, featuring rocker John Mayer admirably channeling Larry Carlton. Mayer held his own too while accompanying blues legend Taj Mahal on a shimmying take on Robert Johnson’s ‘Dust My Broom’.

The performance that got everyone out of their seats though, was a sanguine take on Pharrell Williams’ contagious worldwide hit, ‘Happy’ on which he shared the stage with bassist Ben Williams, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and pianist/keyboard wizard Herbie Hancock, who deftly invigorated the anodyne pop gem with acoustic and electric piano asides that alternated between soul-jazz boogaloo and impressionistic modern jazz.

– John Murph

Scottish Saxophonist Laura Macdonald and New York pianist David Berkman will launch their new album, Duets, at EFG London Jazz Festival on Saturday, 15 November, when they open for Dee Dee Bridgwater at Queen Elizabeth Hall, before playing a three concert tour of Scotland.

The two musicians, who have worked together in various line-ups since appearing in a band Macdonald formed for an Edinburgh Jazz Festival concert a few years ago, first played as a duo when they were asked to fill an hour’s slot in a festival programme at five minutes’ notice. They had more preparation this time and exchanged emails with ideas and suggestions until they settled on a selection of romantic standards, including ‘It Could Happen to You’ and ‘My Romance’.

The album was recorded, with trumpeter Ryan Quigley producing, at Gorbals Sound in Glasgow and the duo will return to Glasgow to play at City Halls on Friday 21 November following concerts at the Tolbooth, Stirling on Wednesday 19 November and the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen on Thursday 20 November.

Duets follows Macdonald’s two albums for Spartacus Records (Laura and Awakenings) and Open Book from the quartet that she co-leads with Swedish drummer Martina Algren. Cleveland-born Berkman’s most recent recording is the New Straight Ahead, released this summer on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind label with the New York Standards Quartet, which also features drummer Gene Jackson, saxophonist Tim Armacost, and double bassist Daiki Yasukagawa.

– Rob Adams

For more info go to www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

Indo-jazz saxophonist, Jesse Bannister, continues his UK tour this month following the release of his new album, Play Out, in October. A highly regarded teacher and an established composer on the Bollywood scene, Bannister has built a strong reputation for fusing Indian influences with classic jazz saxophone.

Recent collaborations have included Mercury Award nominee bandleader and drummer
Seb Rochford while the current incarnation of his quartet features MOBO-winning pianist Zoe Rahman along with in-demand producer and drummer Eddie Hick, and Kenny Higgins on bass.

The tour kicked off at in mid-October at
Wakefield Jazz and continues this month at Nottingham New Art Exchange (Fri 14 Nov); Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, London (Wed 19 Nov); Pizza Express Jazz Club, Maidstone (Sat 22 Nov); Harrow Arts Centre (Fri 28 Nov); and Norwich Arts Centre (Thurs 11 Dec).

– Steve Owen

For more info go to www.jessebannister.co.uk

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