During the late '70s to early '80s, the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation was a popular entity within the realm of gospel music, yielding the hit "Feels Like Fire" during this period. After a two-decade hiatus, Hardeman and his aggregation of talented vocalists returned with the 2001 release To the Chief Musician. Armed with a strong background in R&B, having worked with such artists as Patti LaBelle, Stephanie Mills, Phil Perry, Miki Howard, Chantay Savage, and Prince, Hardeman revisits those roots through the R&B flavor he's added to tracks such as "To Be Saved" and "Hold Out, Deliverance Will Come," as well as the hip-hop-influenced remix of the latter. Hardeman and crew deliver that "Sunday morning church" sound on the tracks "Lord, I Love You," "Spirit," and "Living Water," the latter featuring a guest vocal appearance from gospel music veteran Myrna Summers. The GHD continues to display its artistic versatility on the beautifully arranged ballads "No One But the Lord (Blessed)," title track "To the Chief Musician," "Psalm 24," and "He's Prepared a Place for Me." For an added surprise, Hardeman goes back to yesteryear to pull out and revamp his classic hit, "Feels Like Fire." To the Chief Musician is a project definitely worth checking out.
AllMusic Review by Tim A. Smith