The 30th anniversary Brecon Jazz Festival is headlined by Burt Bacharach, who opens the event on Thursday 7th August. I’m not being disrespectful by saying Burt was never the greatest singer, but I do believe he and Hal David formed arguably the greatest song-writing duo of the 20th century. (I stress arguably – it’s an argument for another time)
Their catalogue includes such classics as: I Say A Little Prayer; Walk on By; Close to You; This Guy’s In Love With You; Do You Know The Way to San Jose?; Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head; and Alfie.
You may ask if this is actually jazz? Well, jazz is hard to define, isn’t it? And Bacharach’s music (“popular” perhaps, rather than “pop”) shows he has been influenced by jazz, and has certainly influenced more recent writers and performers across genres.
Other highlights of the Brecon bill include the likes of Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, Troyka, Penguin Cafe, Kairos 4Tet, Zara McFarlane, and Loose Tubes.
It’s a shame Anthony Strong’s not back this time, but here’s a reminder of our review of his excellent show last year.
A month earlier, the second Love Supreme Festival takes place at Glynde in East Sussex. So far only a third of the line-up has been announced for the UK’s only greenfield jazz festival, but it’s mighty impressive. Jamie Cullum headlines, with Gregory Porter and Laura Mvula again, as well as Courtney Pine, Curtis Stigers, and the danceable glory of Soul II Soul and Snarky Puppy.
Last year’s inaugural event was quite sensational. I gave it a Supreme 10 out of 10 in this review.