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ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Allen: The Source

Read "The Source" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Drummer and Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen returns to his jazz roots for his first full-length Blue Note album, following the EP A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The Art Blakey arrangements married hard bop with an Afrobeat rhythmic sensibility: here the same approach is taken with original material (most of it composed and arranged by Allen and saxophonist Yann Jankielewicz). It's a big sound: a rhythm section with drums, bass, keyboards and guitar joined by five horns. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Allen: A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Read "A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen is an Afrobeat pioneer best known for his tenure as musical director for Fela Kuti. American jazz was an early influence, and he pays tribute to hard bop icon drummer Art Blakey and his band Jazz Messengers here. In a way this is full circle, as Blakey was greatly influenced by African music. In the late 1940s he visited West Africa, and recorded several albums reflecting that experience, including Orgy in Rhythm (Blue Note, 1957), ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Tony Allen: An Autobiography Of The Master Drummer Of Afrobeat

Read "Tony Allen: An Autobiography Of The Master Drummer Of Afrobeat" reviewed by Chris Becker

Tony Allen: An Autobiography Of The Master Drummer Of Afrobeat Michael Veal ISBN: 978-0-8223-5591-5 Duke University Press 2013 First of all, drummers are going to love this book. With so few autobiographies of drummers in print, the publication of Tony Allen: An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat is a cause for celebration. Co-author Michael Veal, author of Fela: The Life and Times of a Musical Icon and an accomplished musician ...

AFRICAN JAZZ

Tony Allen: Secret Agent

Read "Tony Allen: Secret Agent" reviewed by Chris May

Tony Allen Secret Agent World Circuit 2009

It's been a good six months for Afrobeat, the turbulent jazz meets funk meets West African roots music associated with the Nigerian singer Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1938 - 1997) and his bands Afrika 70 and Egypt 80. There have been cracking albums from, first, Fela's son Seun, and now Afrika 70 founder member Tony Allen.

When Kuti died, it seemed for a while ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Allen: Lagos No Shaking

Read "Lagos No Shaking" reviewed by Chris May

More than any other member of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's early bands, drummer Tony Allen can be said to have co-invented Afrobeat. Kuti provided the funk/jazz/Yoruba folk music themes and arrangements--plus the trademark insurrectionary lyrics and, crucially in the face of vicious and ongoing state attempts to silence the band, the leadership. (The buck sure enough stopped with Kuti, a man of extraordinary integrity and courage.) Allen provided that unique Afrobeat rhythm--a majestic, straight to your feet, loose-limbed but heavy shuffle. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Allen: I Remember Front Street

Read "I Remember Front Street" reviewed by Paul Lewis

Tom Brokaw describes the subjects of his latest book, The Greatest Generation as enjoying tremendous popularity. And there's a “best-kept secret" swing album that one could consider a tribute to that generation.Tony Allen (a.k.a. Tony “Hooks" DeDominicus) has been singing for 50 years. Amazingly, at 76, his breezy, delightful timbre which at once evokes Como, Torme and Cole is timeless. Music's been good to him; now he's giving back. His publicist describes appearances at senior residences and the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Allen: Black Voices

Read "Black Voices" reviewed by Derrick A. Smith

Nigerian bandleader and Afro-Beat inventor Fela Kuti was legendarily self-assured. This ego manifested itself in his PR ploys, in his battles - sometimes physical - with the agents of the country’s military government, in his insistence on beginning a sax or keyboard solo seemingly unprepared, and in the fact that on most of his classic recordings he through-composed most of the interlocking segments of those monstrous compositions that liquidly combined traditional ideas of polyrhythm and layering with James Brown-ish funk ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Allen: Black Voices

Read "Black Voices" reviewed by Derrick A. Smith

Nigerian bandleader and Afro-Beat inventor Fela Kuti was legendarily self-assured. This ego manifested itself in his PR ploys, in his battles - sometimes physical - with the agents of the country’s military government, in his insistence on beginning a sax or keyboard solo seemingly unprepared, and in the fact that on most of his classic recordings he through-composed most of the interlocking segments of those monstrous compositions that liquidly combined traditional ideas of polyrhythm and layering with James Brown-ish funk ...