George V. Johnson’s album entitled, “Your Majesty | Walk Spirit Talk Spirit" is hip and refreshing as it honors the fundamentals of jazz and mindful storytelling. The 8-song offering includes well-crafted classics featuring original lyrics and arrangements. Johnson, along with his fellow comrades Elijah Easton (sax), Donvonte McCoy (trumpet), Allyn Johnson (piano), Herman Burney (bass), Steve Arnold (bass), and Dana-j Hawkins (drums) carry the listener through the album’s timely theme of transcendence and renewal of one’s spiritual self.
“Walk Spirit Talk Spirit”, the album’s first tune, opens with Allyn Johnson’s majestic playing alongside Dana J. Hawkins’ proficient percussion thus setting the tone for an audio journey. George V. Johnson’s beautiful, commanding voice sings original lyrics over McCoy Tyner’s Walk Spirit Talk Spirit “Knarrative Will Set Us Free”, Donvonte McCoy and Elijah Easton follow Johnson’s lyrics with a smooth, conversational melody. Elijah, Donvonte, and Allyn serve up back-to-back, vibrant solos and Herman Burney’s delightful strumming supports the song’s theme.
Other tunes featured on the album such as Lou Donaldson's Blue Note classic "Gravy Train", warning it very Funky, "No Room for Squares",
"Fly With The Wind" with captivating vocal arrangements by Johnson, “Jive Samba” and “Moose the Mooche” are playful and proficient with memorable, sing-along melodies. “Road Song”, arranged by Donvonte McCoy, one of the album’s gems, is luscious with exceptional storytelling and gentle solos.
When discussing the album and his inspirations, George V. Johnson notes that “Your Majesty”, a nickname gifted to him in earlier years by John Malachi ("Sassy" Sarah Vaughn) was the most suitable to also title the album. With a background in dance, theater, jazz and performance, the global elements of Johnson’s inspirations provide an intricate tapestry of sound worthy of setting the album, “Your Majesty | Walk Spirit Talk Spirit" on repeat for another round of engaging listening.
Written By: MajeedahJohnson, blogger and Novelist