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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

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Nubiyan Twist: Freedom Fables

Read "Freedom Fables" reviewed by Chris May

Guitarist Tom Excell's Nubiyan Twist is one of the more substantial groove-based fusion outfits orbiting the perimeter of Britain's alternative jazz world. The band combines soul, funk, modal jazz, hip hop, and West African Afrobeat and highlife in a dancefloor-friendly melange which is a whole lot of fun while also possessing some depth. Based in Leeds ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2020

Read "In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2020" reviewed by Maxim Micheliov

As 2020 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to remember the extraordinarily gifted musicians who made an indelible mark on jazz. With sadness, we bid farewell to Gary Peacock, Ennio Morricone, Keith Tippett, Henry Grimes, Bucky Pizzarelli, Wallace Roney and many others including NEA Jazz Masters Jimmy Cobb, Lee Konitz, Candido Camero, ...

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 ...


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