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Festival Review Corea reigns supreme

PETER LINDLEY sees a piano legend take a jazz festival by storm

Love Supreme Jazz Festival

AWAY from the headliners’ tiresome replays of themselves, four instrumental acts provided thousands with the fresh musicianship that nourishes the essence of what the Love Supreme jazz festival is all about.

GoGo Penguin take it easy at first before ramping up the velocity in a totally lost-in-space stream of breathtaking transcendence that’s spellbinding.

Smooth linear progressions and rhythmic curvatures swirl from Chris Illingworth’s lyrical piano, Nick Blacka’s bass and Rob Turner’s drums to create perfection on Bardo and Window, the colossal Murmuration and the dangerously dinky Transient State. Awesome.

There’s a mellow heavy-beat “impro” session from the uncompromising Kamaal Williams who, it must be said, can move the airwaves without playing a note.

In total connect with the expressive potential of his keys, he’s aided by solid-state backbeats and rhythm from McNasty on percussion and Pete Martin on bass.

Williams’s performance really starts to take hold with the startling Lake Geneva and then by giving an answer to the question of how good is this when Snitches Brew and Nights in Paris hit hard.

Snarky Puppy, led by that impresario of things groovy Michael League, make their mark, especially when Bobby Sparks’s sensational keyboard sensation kicks off during Chonks and the luscious Xavi.

Chick Corea’s rare incarnation The Spanish Heart Band does what most ill-fated vanity projects don’t do and that is to sideline the ego while picking up the chase from where a really good thing stopped for a while.

With inexplicable beauty and ecstatic moments, Corea on keys and an ensemble of players are so organically fused every second of this extra-special performance is a wonder to behold.

Corea’s forever-green playing entices throughout and with Carlito del Puerto’s bass gifting the space for the stupefyingly splendid percussion, guitar and brass sections, the track Duende and, from the rest of the set, Zyrab, leave the audience agape, then crazy for more.


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