7 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unquestionably one of the most accomplished African instrumentalists of the second half of the 20th century, Tony Allen—the drummer and musical director for Fela Kuti’s legendary backing band The Nigeria 70—effectively established the rhythmic vocabulary of Afrobeat. Allen’s playing fused traditional West African rhythms with elements of highlife, jazz, soul, and funk, influencing a whole generation of African, European and American musicians in the process. Allen emigrated from Nigeria to Europe in the mid-‘80s and spent much of the following decade collaborating with the likes of Manu Dibango and King Sunny Ade. In the late ‘90s, Allen re-emerged with Black Voices. The album was a startling leap forward and represented a move away from the horn-saturated big-band arrangements of his classic recordings with Fela toward a sparser, dub-inflected sound influenced by the dark textures of trip-hop. These more contemporary influences could be partly due to Irish producer Liam “Doctor L” Farrell, whose tendency to strip arrangements back to their rhythmic fundamentals creates a dramatic showcase for Allen’s instrumental inventiveness.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unquestionably one of the most accomplished African instrumentalists of the second half of the 20th century, Tony Allen—the drummer and musical director for Fela Kuti’s legendary backing band The Nigeria 70—effectively established the rhythmic vocabulary of Afrobeat. Allen’s playing fused traditional West African rhythms with elements of highlife, jazz, soul, and funk, influencing a whole generation of African, European and American musicians in the process. Allen emigrated from Nigeria to Europe in the mid-‘80s and spent much of the following decade collaborating with the likes of Manu Dibango and King Sunny Ade. In the late ‘90s, Allen re-emerged with Black Voices. The album was a startling leap forward and represented a move away from the horn-saturated big-band arrangements of his classic recordings with Fela toward a sparser, dub-inflected sound influenced by the dark textures of trip-hop. These more contemporary influences could be partly due to Irish producer Liam “Doctor L” Farrell, whose tendency to strip arrangements back to their rhythmic fundamentals creates a dramatic showcase for Allen’s instrumental inventiveness.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

DRAEADRAMAS ,

Tony Allen-Black Voices

Music Let me just say MUSIC from all thoose strange dark places, If James Brown had to take one album to that place this would be it. Music for any club. What who is this well just buy Tony Allen
Black Voices full of deep soul funk for yesterday ,today,and tomorrow, this s it will make the duppys come up from the grnd mon...dreadramas

Mustaf ,

gorgeous deep funk

incredibly deep graceful humorous hard grooving. Allen's drumming is unparalleled in the world of grooves as far as I've heard. subtly laid back like some samba then some afrobeat and funk. The chill out vibe is a bit cheesy but the intentions are there. Deep music.

THA BUTCHER ,

Tony The Tiger Allen

Let Mr. Allen take you back in history to the origins of music- What a gem...

More By Tony Allen

You May Also Like