Jazz saxophonist Harlan Jefferson (photo to the left) plays an original—“My, My, My”—off his new CD, You’re All I Need, at Soul Explosion 3 Nov. 24 at Giovanni’s in Rockford. More than 500 people attended the holiday spectacular, planned and promoted by Jefferson. Too Deep’s Brian Hansert (2nd photo on left) opens the event, and Miss Diamond (above photo) sings a Nina Simone song. The show included hors d’oeuvres, musical performances, prizes, DJ Neal and host Gene Phillips from 106.3 FM.

Vibe Entertainment Music Review:
Soul Explosion 3:
Can’t get enough ‘peace, love and soul’

By Lisa Palmeno, Freelance Writer

Photos by Lisa Palmeno

More than 500 people attended Soul Explosion 3 at Giovanni’s Saturday, Nov. 24. The holiday spectacular planned and promoted by jazz saxophonist Harlan Jefferson drew patrons from across the stateline.

The show was a “dress your best” event, complete with hors d’oeuvres, musical performances from Harlan and many special guests, prizes, DJ Neal and host Gene Phillips from 106.3 FM.

The stage was set for a large band and a big sound at Giovanni’s that night, and the crowd seemed well pleased. The food disappeared quickly, and the dance floor stayed full.

Dancing is always the main attraction at the Soul Explosions, events Jefferson designed to pay tribute to soul artists, past and present.

Too Deep opened the show with original soul songs they wrote—“Jumpin’ Off,” “Love Ride” and “Resolution.” They ended their 45-minute set with “Backstabbers” by the O’Jays.

Gene Phillips did a Let’s Make a Deal-style giveaway and got knocked down by excited ladies who were rushing to claim prizes for having things in their purses, such as lipsticks, colognes and novelty items. Some of the prizes were copies of Harlan’s latest CD, You’re All I Need.

Next, Phillips introduced Harlan Jefferson and The So So Tight Band, who then performed Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusher Man” and Earth Wind & Fire’s “That’s the Way.”

Vocalist Thurston Sherod offered the smooth sounds of Barry White with a medley that included “My First, My Last, My Everything,” “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” and “It’s Ecstasy.”

Dan Eisman of the Missing Links sang “Green Grass” by Wilson Pickett and “Change My Mind” by Tyrone Davis.

Don Beinborn from Clutch Cargo sang two Billy Preston songs, “Nothing from Nothing” and “Will it Go Round in Circles.”

Miss Diamond revived early blues artist Nina Simone on “Do I Move You,” and Beth Ann “Red” Beale sang a Curtis Mayfield/Staple Singers song, “Let’s Do it Again.”

The Staple Singers have received recognition for their work recently, including a Chicago street named in honor of Mavis Staples a couple of years ago. A member of that musical family and one of the lead singers for Mighty Clouds of Joy, Ron Staples, came out and performed Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and the O’Jays’ “Love Train.”

Harlan also threw in some originals, including “My, My, My,” giving couples a chance for a romantic couples dancing. Pistol Pete rocked everyone on “It’s Your Thing” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” A huge band formed of various players ended the night with “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross.

The success of Soul Explosion 3 is proof that no matter how tired people might get of the holidays and family reunions, they can never get enough of that peace, love and soul.

from the Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2007, issue

Copyright 2002-2007 - The Rock River Times

Copyright © 2002-2007 - The Rock River Times