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Tony Allen

Tony Oladipo Allen (born in Lagos, Nigeria) is a Nigerian drummer, composer and songwriter who currently lives and works in Paris. His career and life story have been documented in his 2013 autobiography Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat, co-written with author/musician Michael E. Veal who previously wrote a comprehensive biography of Fela Kuti. As drummer and musical director of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's band Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979, Allen was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat music. Fela once stated that, "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat." He has also been described by Brian Eno as "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived. A self-taught musician, Allen began to play drum-kit at the age of eighteen, while working as an engineer for a Nigerian radio station

Rejoice

Label: World Circuit
Released: 2020
Track listing: Robbers, Thugs and Muggers; Agbada Bougou; Coconut Jam; Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be the Same; Slow Bones; Jabulani (Rejoice, Here Comes Tony); Obama Shuffle Strut Blues; We've Landed.

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Kick It: A Social History Of The Drum Kit

Read "Kick It: A Social History Of The Drum Kit" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Kick It: A Social History Of The Drum Kit Matt Brennan 371 Pages ISBN: #978-0-19-068387-0 Oxford University Press 2020 Matt Brennan's Kick It: A Social History Of The Drum Kit is a complex, meticulously researched piece of work that spans several centuries. In the course of over three ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Big Bands, Orchestras and New Sounds

Read "Big Bands, Orchestras and New Sounds" reviewed by Bob Osborne

This week we focus on new releases interpreting pop hits in a big band style with Dave Stryker working with Bob Mintzer and the WDR Big Band; delivering solo piano compositions with a cinematic blend of classical, post-minimalist and traditional music courtesy of Kosta Jevtić, from Serbia; or incorporating folk elements into contemporary jazz by Kari ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela: Rejoice

Read "Rejoice" reviewed by Chris May

"Unfinished" is the kindest word to describe this album, recorded in 2010 and left on the shelf until its release was prompted after Hugh Masekela passed in 2018. It should have stayed on the shelf. The album consists of eight tracks of noodling by Masekela, accompanied by autopilot timekeeping from Tony Allen, who ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A tribute to Tony Allen plus some new releases

Read "A tribute to Tony Allen plus some new releases" reviewed by Bob Osborne

This week a tribute to the great Nigeria drummer, percussionist and songwriter Tony Allen. One of the main collaborators, and musical director, of Fela Kuti's band Africa '70 from 1968 to 1979, he was a central figure in Afrobeat music. In later years he embraced a variety of musical styles, developed “Afrofunk" and worked with a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Tony Allen, Hugh Masekela, Luciana Souza, Dave Douglas & Other New Releases

Read "Tony Allen, Hugh Masekela, Luciana Souza, Dave Douglas & Other New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

We may be in lock-down mode but oustading jazz releases keep coming out as if nothing were of the COVID and the social distancing, bringing us much needed relief. One more reason to pay tribute to today's artists and to encourage everyone to support the music scene by purchasing music directly from the musicians and labels ...

Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

It would be hard if not impossible to compile an Afrobeat Top Ten which was not wholly made up of Fela Anikulapo Kuti albums. Such was Kuti's centrality in the creation and development of Afrobeat, such was the productivity of his recording career--his catalogue totals more than fifty albums, not counting reissues and compilations--and such was ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Blue Note Review 2: Spirit & Time and More

Read "Blue Note Review 2: Spirit & Time and More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Lots of cool features this week. First, Side 2 of the new-music LP from 2nd limited-edition Blue Note Review box with drummers Tony Allen and Chris Dave reimagining Tony Williams compositions. Then, a deep dive into the Savoy vaults from 1947 with recreations of 78s by Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro and Dexter Gordon. Celebrating Sonny Rollins ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Trondheim Jazzfest 2019: Part 2-2

Read "Trondheim Jazzfest 2019: Part 2-2" reviewed by Henning Bolte

Part 1 | Part 2 Trondheim JazzfestSylvie Courvoisier Trio Trondheim, Norway May 10, 2019 Trondheim, Norway's third largest city and the country's center of intelligence in science, engineering and technology, holds a key-place in Norwegian history and identity in general, and in jazz/music specifically. The six-day Trondheim Jazzfest starts ...


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