Tony Allen is the co-creator of Afrobeat, and one of the most distinctive and in-demand drummers on the planet. No one swings like this Nigerian rhythm man — with that amazing, loose-limbed, poly-rhythmic technique that has powered some of the funkiest and most challenging dance music ever created. And Lagos No Shaking is his most powerful and personal album to date: a return to core values; a testament to the fact that afrobeat is best served straight — hot, hard and percussion-heavy.
Tony Allen grew up surrounded by rhythm: the local palm-wine and juju sounds loved by his motor mechanic father, and the pan-African, big-band highlife then sweeping the clubs of Africa — exemplified by the great Ghanaian bandleader E. T. Mensah. The young Tony developed an obsession with drums. But opportunities to get near a kit were few and far between in 1950s Lagos. He made his professional debut at the age of 18, while working as a radio technician, playing claves with Sir Victor Olaiya and his Cool Cats. When the regular drummer left, Tony was handed the sticks. He went on honing his technique with Negu Morris And The Heatwaves, the Nigerian Messengers and the Western Toppers Highlife Band. His role models were Art Blakey and the Ghanaian drummer Koffi Ghanaba, aka Guy Warren.
Then, in 1964, Tony was invited to audition for a band called Koola Lobitos, led by a young Nigerian — just returned from music studies in London — named Fela Kuti. Fela’s influence on the young drummer was incalculable. But then so was Tony’s on Fela. Here was exactly the musician Fela had been looking for: capable of fusing jazz and highlife sensibilities and sounding, as Kuti put it, ‘like five drummers at once’. If Fela was afrobeat’s mind and mouth, Tony Allen was its arms and legs, his webs of cascading off-beats endlessly powering the music forward.
Allen split with Fela in 1978 — citing t....... więcej