I have been to a lot of CD release concerts, but the Pre-Release CD Concert for Dr. Claybon Lea was truly done in grand style. Excellence was detail oriented when it came to this pre-release concert. Held at The Mission Church in Vacaville, Sat. November 12th – the over 3,000 seat sanctuary was a perfect fit for the nearly over-capacity crowd. Dr. Lea did it right!
It’s About Time, is an encouraging CD that includes a enough variety for eveyone’s musical taste. From traditional gospel,contemporary, quartet, and praise and worship – the night was full of music that put the crowd on their feet and placed them in the heart of worship.
The audience included countless family, friends, members of his Mt. Calvary Church family. Many noted Bay Area’s recording artists and Pastors filled the room, including Eugene Cole, Deborah & Bennie Henderson, Botiwa Jackson, Bishop Joseph Simmons, Supt. K.R. Woods, Rev. Jacqueline Thompson, Rev. A.L. Cobbs, and more.
Worship leader Dasha Moore set the atmosphere in Praise and Worship, preparing the audience for not just a concert, but also a musical experience with Jesus as the focus. Once the temperature was right for having church, Apostle Ross D. Garrison kicked off the program as the evenings MC.
The background singers were on point, which notably included Dr. Lea’s son and daughter. The band included two of my music mentors, Tim Poston, Jr. on organ and piano and music producer Willis Hickerson holding it down. The first half featured Niya Cotton who took us all to a new level of worship with “I Have A Plan”. “I’m Still Here,” which has a strong quartet feel, took me back to straight up old school church! When intermission was over, Dr. Lea came back in the second half with his debut single “We Worship You,” which is gaining radio airplay across the country.
Not only is Dr. Lea a great pastor, preacher, and noted author – he is an accomplished musician as well. He floored me as he sat at the piano and began to play his own jazz rendition of Go Down Moses. Right in the middle of the song, there was special surprise appearance by saxophonist Angella Christie who flew in from Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
While attending Morehouse College in the 80’s, Dr. Lea was a member of the renowned Morehouse Glee Club (along with Gospel artist Byron Cage) and pianist for the Morehouse College Jazz Ensemble.