Andy Innes, solo artist and musical director for Johnny Clegg’s touring band, is one of those English-speaking artists (others include Tom Fox, James Stewart and Lionel Bastos) who, without resorting to world music clichés, is able to convey a sense of “Africa-ness” in music that fits comfortably into what most would define as “Western” pop.
25 September 2012 | BRUCE DENNILL
7/10 ANDY INNES – ANTHEMS OF A STRANGER (KHANGULA)
Innes’s profile is such that he’s able to include a long list of artists similarly comfortable with his crossover style on this album – Johnny Clegg; Barry Van Zyl; vocalists Mandisa Dlanga, Hlengiwe Pitso and Bongani Masuku; drummer Kevin Gibson and many more.
The agreeably grown-up songs that come out of that mix of talents are great, with love song Desiree (dedicated to Innes’s wife) and Angels being the best of a strong selection.
Six of the entries on the tracklist are instrumentals, underlining the breadth of skill and creativity at the disposal of Innes and his motley crew.
And within that bunch, there is great scope as well, with Gitane being a hyper-active, jumpy tune and Delilaha soothing, melodic musing. – BD