https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/ God bless your beautiful soul. See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, Hard to find a more influential band than Talking Heads, whose best songs mostly involved riffs on Fela’s rhythm — which was largely driven by the imagination, power & athleticism of those drums & grooves.’, Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, said: ‘Another day another legend passes on. THE GOAT AMONGST GOATS. It was fucking heavenly. Born in Nigeria, the self-taught Allen served as the drummer and musical director of Fela Kuti's band Africa '70 in the 1960s and 1970s, which created and perfected the highly influential Afrobeat sound. With the Nigerian bandleader Fela and later on his own, he merged West African styles with American jazz and funk, reaching listeners worldwide. God bless your beautiful soul. Flea led the tributes to the late drummer by posting a touching message on Instagram. Fela Kuti did not invent afrobeat, Fela and Tony birthed it together. "Is this for real? Tony Allen, the drummer who created the steadfast, subtle beat of the Nigerian protest funk known as Afrobeat, died on Thursday in Paris. “You listen to it flowing like a river,” Mr. Allen explained in a 2016 interview with The Guardian. Just grooving high, grooving deep. “There was no band like the Africa 70,” Fela’s son Femi Kuti once told Rolling Stone. He was and still is, my hero. A truly innovative genius.". His music reached listeners worldwide. Allen was born in Lagos, Nigeria and took a fancy to drumming after studying jazz percussionists like Art Blakey and Gene Krupa. 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He was the musical director for Fela’s band Africa 70, which forged music that was both politically committed and danceable, merging West African styles with American jazz and funk. “I still want to play something impossible, something that I never played before. He was and still is, my hero. ( Log Out / Tony Allen, the master drummer and co-founder of the Afrobeat genre, has passed away at the age of 79 in Paris, France. Pioneering Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen has died at the age of 79 in Paris. The cause of death has not been confirmed. 8:03 PM PDT 4/30/2020 Without Tony Allen there is NO afrobeat. His manager confirmed the news overnight, adding the Nigerian-born musician’s death was not linked to Covid-19. Do Not Sell My Personal Information With Tony’s longtime musical collaborator, friend and champion, Damon Albarn, we jammed til the cows came home. Tony Allen death: Afrobeat legend dies aged 79, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. AdChoices | While in the band, he participated in iconic Afrobeat albums such as 1973’s Gentleman, 1975’s Expensive Shit and 1976’s Zombie. A post shared by Flea (@flea333) on Apr 30, 2020 at 5:06pm PDT. “He was in great shape; it was quite sudden. He was influenced by a variety of music his father listened to, Yoruba music from the 1940s, American jazz, and the growing highlife scene in Nigeria and Ghana. I wanted to honor his greatness so much when we played together, and I was nervous when we started, but he made me laugh like a two year old, and we fell right into pocket. EMAIL ME. Mr. Allen was backed by Africa 70 on his 1979 album, “No Accommodation for Lagos,” but he struggled to start his own band in Nigeria. He lived in Courbevoie, a suburb of Paris. “I’m creating different patterns with my four limbs,” Mr. Allen told The Guardian in 2014. I was lucky enough to spend many an hour with him, holed up in a London studio, jamming the days away. This story first appeared on Billboard.com. On albums, many of Fela’s 1970s Afrobeat songs stretched the length of an LP side. It was f***ing heavenly. He was 79. As a teenager he learned electronics and worked as a radio technician — skills that would come in handy in his early days as a touring musician, when he repaired the band’s amplifiers. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? | Cookie Settings. “We don’t know the exact cause of death," he said. “I spoke to him at 1pm then two hours later he was sick and taken to Pompidou hospital, where he died.”, Described by Brian Eno and Damon Albarn as the. What a wildman, with a massive, kind and free heart and the deepest one-of-a-kind groove. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ", Another commented: "Tony Allen, one of the world's greatest drummers, leaves us. He was born in Lagos in 1940 and was regarded as one of the founders of Afrobeat. DON'T MISS...Neil Jones: Look inside Strictly pro's home after Katya Jones split [REVEAL]Jenny Ryan tells ITV viewer to 'grow up' after slamming complaint [REACTION]Martin Roberts speaks out on Homes Under The Hammer awards upset [LATEST]. READ MORE: Ant and Dec facing £2.5m loss as villa firm goes bust. The composer and producer Brian Eno, a fan since the 1970s, once called Mr. Allen “perhaps the greatest drummer who ever lived.”. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. A number of musicians who looked up to Allen took to social media to share their grief following the unfortunate news, including Major Lazer, Flea and Sean Ono Lennon. (sic)’, Africa Express, a UK-based group that promotes African music, tweeted: ‘RIP Tony. Tony Allen, the pioneering drummer who was a member of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s band, Africa 70, has died. He was 79. That’s what I’m after.”, Tony Allen, Drummer Who Created the Beat of Afrobeat, Dies at 79, The drummer Tony Allen in performance in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 2015. Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen has died at the age of 79. Express. It was fucking heavenly. As he taught himself to play, Mr. Allen became particularly interested in the pedal-operated pair of cymbals known as the hi-hat, which he felt other African drummers neglected. In the Noughties, Allen worked with musicians such as Albarn. I spoke to him at 1 p.m., then two hours later he was sick and taken to Pompidou hospital where he died.”. © 2020 The Hollywood Reporter The Nigerian-born drummer, who is credited with creating the musical genre along with bandmate Fela Kuti, died suddenly in Paris on Thursday. ( Log Out / Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. After he left Africa 70 in 1979, Mr. Allen went on to an international solo career, leading his own bands and collaborating with rock, jazz, reggae, R&B and electronic musicians. A longtime fan, Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, appeared on Mr. Allen’s 2002 album, “Home Cooking,” starting a long affiliation. With Tony’s longtime musical collaborator, friend and champion, Damon Albarn, we jammed til the cows came home. But in the 1990s he forged the blend of Afrobeat and dub electronics that he wanted on “Black Voices,” which featured guest appearances by singers from Parliament-Funkadelic. With Tony’s longtime musical collaborator, friend and champion, Damon Albarn, we jammed til the cows came home. We partied in Nigeria, we partied around Europe, and it was always about the music. Allen has also been described by Brian Eno as “perhaps the greatest drummer who ever lived”. Allen died in Paris, France, on Thursday, April 30. This year he completed “Rejoice,” an album featuring the South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who died in 2018, that was begun at sessions in 2010.