Elder Randall Ogans Sr. – “What A Friend” CD

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Alpha 7 Ministries is pleased to announce our new instrumental gospel jazz release by Elder Randall Ogans Sr., entitled “What A Friend”.  

Elder Randall Ogans Sr. is no stranger to the gospel music industry. He is the co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries and the executive producer of several recordings of gospel artists from the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Now comes his debut instrumental gospel jazz CD, “What A Friend“, which includes 7 songs, including a few classic hymns/gems bathed in smooth instrumental arrangements, as well as some original compositions.  It also includes his inspirational message/spoken word  “We Need To Pray”. 

 With the world currently experiencing the Covid-19 coronavirus, economic depression, racial injustice, and extreme weather conditions, we believe this instrumental music will calm the agitations of the soul, and set the atmosphere for spiritual reflection, prayer, and studying the Word of God. 

This CD is currently receiving airplay on traditional gospel, gospel jazz, and smooth jazz stations across the country, as well as internationally. 

Listen to and/or purchase the CD


What A Friend CD Reviews:

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Elder Randall Ogans, Sr.’s arrangement of “What A Friend” is like chicken soup for the soul. The jazz-infused instrumental is the title track from his debut gospel jazz CD, on which son Dorian is a featured musician and co-producer.

“What A Friend” opens with the lull of an acoustic piano, shaping each note of the melody into a reminder of the solace we and the generations before us have found in the 19th-century hymn. Ogans’ arrangement then blossoms into a full-bodied smooth instrumental, replete with electric piano, organ, pads, and percussion.

The track was recorded at Ogans’ own Alpha 7 Ministries Studios in Roseville, CA.

Libra Boyd

Libra Nicole Boyd, PhD is a musician, award-winning author, gospel music aficionado, and the founder and editor of Gospel Music Fever™. Her commitment to journalistic integrity includes bringing you reliable gospel music content that uplifts and advances the art form. Libra is presently working on several scholarly projects about gospel music in the media as well as gospel music in social movements.


By Bob Marovich – The Journal of Gospel Music

Elder Randall Ogans Sr.’s What a Friend contains classic hymns bathed in smooth instrumental arrangements.

Well, almost. “We Need to Pray” is the one and only track with lyrics or, more specifically, a spoken word meditation by Elder Ogans. Over the melody of the Lords of Harmony’s 1965 single, “If God Gave Us Everything,” Ogans shares a real-life parable about a homeless shelter to remind listeners that there but for the grace of God go we.

Otherwise, it’s instrumental jazz played by the duo of Elder Ogans (keyboards) and son Dorian (guitar, bass, and percussion). For example, the  title track opens with lovely flourishes on acoustic piano and transitions to a silky arrangement backed by gentle percussion, electric piano, and organ.

A mid-tempo arrangement of C. D. Martin and C. H. Gabriel’s “His Eye is on the Sparrow” features lightning bolts from Dorian’s electric guitar amidst a gradually crescendoing cooperative. Fanny Crosby and W. H. Doane’s nineteenth-century gospel song “I Am Thine (Draw Me Nearer)” gets generous helpings of piano alongside subdued organ and guitar. Elder’s lilting acoustic piano on this and other tracks is what really sells the album.

The duo takes the listener to church on the Sunday School favorite-turned-protest song “This Little Light of Mine.” Elder Ogans sustains the warbling of the organ while incrementally building its volume, a la Booker T. Jones, though there is no big finish.

The fidelity to the melodies serves the collection well and makes this a fine go-to CD for accompanying special events or prayer meetings at church.

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.

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