Ernie Smith  - Child Of The Light

South African guitar music is best known by SA's great musical ambassador Jonathan Butler. It's not unusual that Ernie Smith is influenced by this guitarist, who has earned many merits in the past especially by his natural play of the acoustic guitar.

His album Child Of The Light is an awesome collection of popular melodies. What you get? Soulful music - a mixture of African, jazz and gospel with a definate R'nB slant. Cool and smooth for late night chilling or dancing.

Take for example Lonely. A heartbeating love song which let you hum the melody in a happy mood.

Thapelo Yaka (My Prayer) is played in the typical Jonathan Butler style. Ernie Smith is a skillful guitar player who has already reached the professional level of his mentor.

Crazy starts with the typical South African brass music but is changing in the main part his character to a pop-styled love song. Nevertheless lie the strengths of this piece in his well arranged vocal parts.

If Only You Were Here has its mainweight on the guitar music again. Ernie Smith plays his guitar in a relaxed way managing even more demanding structures.

With the uptempo Come Dance Ernie Smith reachs the first time on his album a more jazzy ground. This impression may be provoked by Marcus Wyatt 's muted trumpet.

The title tune Child Of The Light (vocal version) reveals Ernie Smith's religious position intonated in a convinced attitude.

Mary Kate is the name of Ernie Smith 's mother to whom he has dedicated not only this piece but the whole album. His smooth guitar strokes elucidate the tender and intimate relation to his parents.

The South African people must be in a good temper listen to music like Wentworth, an uprising tune with a positive feeling.

Everything About You features Gloria Bosman's smoking and mellow vocals. She has an outstanding timbre and the choir arrangement makes it to a passionate passage.

Those who will miss the original African music style will be appeased by the rhythm emphatic Invitation. Neil Conzales develops a jazzy fire on his piano pushing Ernie Smith to a breathtaking jazz improvisation. Now I understand why this album is labeled under jazz.

More jazz is to discover on An African Lullaby. Especially Bernard Ayisa's tenor sax solo finds my recognition.

Child Of The Light (guitar version) is a worthy final curtain. Starting gingerly the tune increases to a glorious crescendo.

Friends of guitar music familiar to Jonathan Butler's music will find in Ernie Smith's album an advantageous addition.


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