Tony Allen obituary

Damon Albarn

Groupe / Damon Albarn 184 Views comments

Masterful drummer and co-creator of Afrobeat, the fusion of funk, jazz and African types that he pioneered with Fela Kuti

On 12 and 13 March there were two live shows in the Church of Sound collection at St James the Great Church in Clapton, east London. They have been staged in the round, with each the audience and the small band of brass, keyboards and guitar circled around the star participant, arguably the best drummer on the planet.

As ever, Tony Allen appeared cool and relaxed, sporting a hat and dark glasses, sitting upright with the remainder of his body hardly shifting as his arms and ft beat out the thrilling, complicated rhythms, or “patterns” as he referred to as them. The music came from his latest album, Rejoice, recorded together with his good friend Hugh Masekela, and these have been to be his final exhibits.

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