Eloise Laws

*Los Angeles – Mothers in Action and the Los Angeles Sentinel presented the 5th Annual Taste of Soul. The premier family festival was held on October 16th, 2010 on a gray, cool, overcast day. The cool weather was a welcome respite compared to the heat of previous years.

First time attendees couldn’t believe that this event has been going on for five years. I have been fortunate enough to attend all five years. An estimated crowd of 70,000 plus crowded unto Crenshaw Blvd. between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Rodeo Road for the Taste of Soul.

I stayed at the 94.7 The Wave Budweiser Stage. A full schedule of top notch entertainment was scheduled for attendees and I. DJ Shell kept up the party atmosphere by spinning tracks in between performances. He kept the crowd literally dancing in the streets throughout the morning and into the early evening.

It is becoming a Taste of Soul tradition to kick off the festivities with the spiritually uplifting gospel sounds of Chosen Gospel Recovery Music Ministry. The singers always sound sensational every time I hear their heavenly voices on “Jesus Can Work It Out,” “Bless The Lord,” “This Must Be Heaven,” “Count It All Joy,” and “Rollercoaster.” If you reside in Los Angeles, you have a chance to see these wonderful vocalists performing at the Carson Community Center-801 East Carson Street on December 3rd, 2010 at 7:30PM. This is a fundraising event supporting “Ruby’s House” Transitional Housing Program for Women.

Multi-instrumentalist Brad Rambar-guitar/saxophones and his band performed material from his latest CD Can’t Put It Down. The band laid down some rockin smooth jazz grooves during their set on the tunes “Blue River,” “Chasing The Sun,” “Aruba,” and “Warm.”

94.7 The Wave Budweiser Stage always surprises me with some hot new up and coming talent. This year was no different and right on the money featuring Moniquea performing two tracks “Maybe I Should Let You Go and “I Got Something You Should Know” from her debut CD.

Alana and The Masterpiece were making a return engagement after making a lasting impression on the crowd and me last year. Alana and The Masterpiece electrified the crowd with some R&B, soul on “Joy and Pain,” “Don’t You Look any Further,” “I’m a Soldier of Love,” “Hotel California” with a reggae beat and “Proud Mary.” Guitarist Romel Veal was explosive when he was the featured soloist.

Next to perform were the Supa Lowery Brothers from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Trumpeter Christopher and his brother, drummer Wesley played some original tunes. I could tell from their tight set that they are generating a lot of buzz in the local music scene with their soulful smooth jazz sound.

Jovonnie is another local singer/songwriter currently heating up the R&B/jazz scene with her dynamic performances. She made a lasting impression during her brief three song set with “Don’t Tell It All,” “Living in Confusion,” and a rousing, crowd pleasing version of “Dr. Feelgood.”

Vocalist Eloise Laws from the legendary music family graced the stage for a tune “In The Thick of It.”

DW3 is another group making a return engagement to the Taste of Soul. It was easy to see why DW3 is considered “the hottest soul singing Latino band in Los Angeles.” The audience was in awe of how the group thoroughly entertains during their set. They captivated the crowd and demonstrated sparks of brilliance on “I Got You On the Floor,” “Do I Do,” “Never Too Much,” “Heartbreak Hotel” and a medley of tunes by Michael Jackson.

Saxophonist Mike Phillips took the festivities up a notch as he debuted material from his latest CD M.P.3.

The Taste of Soul, the most highly anticipated event of the year ended with a flurry of vocal fireworks served up wonderfully by Phil Perry, a renowned crooner of R&B and smooth jazz love songs.

The 5th Annual Taste of Soul was sponsored in part by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, McDonald’s, Catalina Express, State Farm and The Cochran Firm of Los Angeles to name a few. To view photos of the event please visit www.tasteofsoulla.org/photos  and www.947wave.com click on Taste of Soul Festival a Huge Success.

Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected].