Tony Oladipo Allen (1940 - )
Related: afrobeat - African music - Fela Kuti
Tony Allen was Fela Kuti's drummer in his Africa '70 band. Tony first hooked up with Fela in 1968. Tony left Africa '70 in the mid eigthies. He subsequently recorded his first solo 'Never Expect Power Always' EP which appeared on Earthworks in 1984. B-side is 'When One Road Close (Another One Go Open)'. Both sides are mixed by Mark Smith in the Addis-Ababa Studio of London.
BiographyTony Allen is a Nigerian drummer, composer, and songwriter. Along with Fela Kuti, he is one of the founders of the afrobeat. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Allen_%28musician%29 [Mar 2006]
Drummer with Fela Kuti
Tony Allen was Fela Kuti's drummer in his Africa '70 band. Tony first hooked up with Fela in 1968. Tony left Africa '70 in the mid eigthies.
Earthworks RecordsHe subsequently recorded his first solo 'Never Expect Power Always' EP which appeared on Earthworks in 1984. B-side is 'When One Road Close (Another One Go Open)'. Both sides are mixed by Mark Smith in the Addis-Ababa Studio of London. Jumbo Van Renan and Trevor Herman were/are behind Earthworks records.
No Accommodation For LagosTony Allen Plays With Afrika 70 "No Accommodation For Lagos" (Afrostrut) And another important repress of a classic afro funk LP. The drummer Tony Allen is besides Fela Kuti a further popular artist from Nigeria in this genre. Originally from 1978, this LP was released in Nigeria only. Luckily for us, Afrostrut, a new sublabel of Strut Records, made it available world-wide for the first time. Similar to the Kuti/Ayers release, there are two very long tracks on it, both of them without a doubt essential afrobeat killers. "No Accommodation For Lagos" has a relaxed grooving bassline, picked with incredible saxophone soundbuildings and spoken and sung vocals by Tony Allen, and the "African Message" is at least as actual as the message of "2000 Blacks...". BTW, Afrika 70 is the legendary band of Fela Kuti from the early 70s, and this was the third and last album they did together. While consuming this record I found the final evidence that the roots of deep house are definitely to be found in the deepest heart of Africa and not somewhere else, as some whities still seem to think:-) Watch out also for the other represses of Tony Allen albums that are currently out on the market... SU (5/12/00)-- http://www.bassics.de/reviews.html
A ProfileTony Allen is the Nigerian-born drummer, composer and songwriter who, along with Fela Kuti, pioneered afrobeat music, a new blend of jazz and traditional African juju and highlife, in the mid-1960s. Tony learnt to play drums when he was a radio technician at about the age of 18. He has his own unique style, using his 4 limbs, not his whole body! He started to play jazz together with Fela in 1964. Fela and Tony continued to develop the afrobeat sound in 1969 when they went to USA and met many top black American musicians. Tony was not only Fela's lead drummer but also had the very important role of musical director of the band Fela Kuti & Africa 70. Many of their original vinyl recordings from the 1970s, such as Jealousy and Progress, No Accomodation for Lagos and No Discrimination, have been reissued on CD. Tony decided to leave Fela in the late 1970s. Later he moved to Europe where he collaborated with many top musicians like Manu Dibango, Ray Lema and Roy Ayers and spear-headed the successful NEPA (Never Expect Power Always) project. Indeed Tony features on Manu Dibango's Wakafrika CD. The amazing album Black Voices was released in 1999 and once again Tony records with many other top musicians. He wants to fuse afrobeat with modern music like funk, rock and hip-hop, hence he has been working with people like Doctor L for the recording Black Voices and they also both appear on Psycho On Da Bus. He believes that, despite its complexity, afrobeat is gaining popularity. At present Tony often performs with his own band but also can still be found alongside Manu Dibango, for example, at The Barbican in London in April 2001. He is, without doubt, extraordinary, full of funky, groovy rhythms as well as outstanding, hard-hitting lyrics. Look out for his new CD, Home Cooking! -- info@africanmusicprofiles
Black Voices () - Tony Allen [Amazon.com]
1. Asiko 2. Get Together 3. Black Voices We Are What We Play Mix 4. Same Blood 5. Asiko: In a Silent Mix 6. Black Voices 7. Ariya Psychejujumix
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