Jeff Majors - Sacred Major 7 th
By Debbi Johnson

Jeff Majors' name is world-renowned and synonymous with the classical harp--an instrument not usually identified with Gospel music. At age 14, Majors had a dream where he saw himself playing the harp. Keep in mind this was an instrument he had never played before. Yet it did not deter him from pursing his passion and love for music as he set out to master his instrument. After graduating from the Washington, D.C. public school system, Majors headed to Los Angeles to study under the auspices of Jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby and Jazz pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane, wife of legendary Jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. Majors ultimately returned to Washington, D.C., began forming several Jazz bands and fast became a popular staple on the city's music club scene.

Radio One , the largest African American radio broadcasting company in the United States, gave Majors a platform and home for his unique musical talent. He appears in more than 40 million homes in the highly-regarded The Gospel of Music with Jeff Majors , aired on TV One , spotlighting established and up and coming Gospel artists from such musical genres as reggae gospel, hip-hop gospel and Gospel Jazz. This eclectic offering of the Gospel set to music is led by the melodic sounds of Majors' signature harp.

Now we have the next offering of Stellar-nominated Majors' 12-cd series entitled, Sacred . With the success of the previous Sacred series projects, Sacred Major 7 th was highly anticipated.

Sacred Major 7 th opens with the unparalleled vocals of his friend the late Gerald Levert singing Beggar . It was one of Gerald's last recordings, and, in the first week after its release, Beggar was the #1 Most Added Gospel Song ever as quoted by Internet-based RadioandRecords.com . This song birthed Majors National Homeless Tour - giving voice and visibility to an issue close to his heart - the epidemic called "Homelessness."

The rest of this Sacred journey is no less awe-inspiring and uplifting. Help Somebody had me feeling good - tapping my foot and nodding my head as the jazz flavoring inspired my musical palate. Latin Praise took me on a National Geographic trip to Brazil - blue clear waters, soft summer breeze, palm trees swaying with its calypso beat. After a hectic day, coming home to a Quiet Time is definitely a contender for soothing the spirit.

Something I really enjoyed about Sacred Major 7 th is how Majors took some old hymns and "Testimony" service songs and put a new, contemporary spin on them. Get your dance on with Humming Your Name - which you'll remember as "When I Think About His Goodness" and the age-old Glory Glory - which will make you feel "oh so much better." I'm not sure why track 9 is called Bishop , but I give honor where it is due and it's definitely one of my favorites. Child of the Most High will confirm why the harp is called an angelic instrument.

Definitely worth checking out are Amendela (I loved the horn) and the reggae-flavored Jericho . When the War is Over is a true testament of inspiration and hope for those serving in our military. I'm a lover of the organ and the hymns of the church, and Lead Me, Guide Me gives me both - with the beautiful strings of Majors' harp and a fine flute added. There's also a very nice rendition of the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome .

In wrapping this up, I saved my best for last, the beautiful God's Gift , featuring the "jazzy" offerings of one of God's unique vocal gifts, Kelly Price--an excellent word of encouragement which brings to the table the overflowing blessings of God available to everyone. The benediction for Sacred Major 7 th is Psalm 23 , Majors' compellingly beautiful rendition of everyone's favorite scripture, delivered impeccably by Al Johnson as true ministry to the soul. Oprah Winfrey says it best, "I listen to it every morning." Personally, I can't think of a better way to command your morning time of day.

Although I cannot tell you that every song was a favorite of mine, there is an abundance of great music on Sacred Major 7 th with an impressive 17 tracks. Heaven A Breath Away didn't quite take my breath away, and Getting Ready did not fully inspire me to do so (however, I loved Majors' harp mastery). But I encourage you to buy the CD and judge for yourself. Sacred Major 7 th is a welcomed addition to the collection of Jeff Majors' league of fans and supporters and presents an anointing of music ministry for healing wounded hearts and inspiring the soul. And, if by chance you're not a fan of Majors already, get Sacred Major 7 th , and you soon will be.

RATING: A-