Tony Allen: A Retrospective review – sprawling tribute gets the crowd on its feet

Damon Albarn

Groupe / Damon Albarn 320 Views comments

Royal Pageant Hall, London
At virtually three hours, Damon Albarn, Femi Koleoso, Ben Okri and co nonetheless struggled to encapsulate the complete gamut of Allen’s creativity

Within the 18 months since pioneering Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen died, the extent of his legacy has grow to be increasingly obvious. Posthumous releases of outstanding new material continue to pour forth – from the audio-stitched hip-hop features of There Is No Finish, to the The Answer Is Stressed with Joan As Police Lady and Dave Okumu.

Nowhere is the vary of Allen’s influence more obvious than in Tony Allen: A Retrospective, his musical tribute happening as part of the 2021 EFG London Jazz Festival. Curated by longtime collaborator Damon Albarn, drummer Femi Koleoso, author Ben Okri and Gorillaz bandmember Remi Kabaka, the lineup is likely one of the most in depth on the pageant’s roster, that includes everyone from Finnish multi-instrumentalist Jimi Tenor to composer Nitin Sawhney, vocalist Wayne Snow, and Fela Kuti collaborator Dele Sosimi.

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