Without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat. This is the assessment of his former bandmate, Fela Kuti. The Nigerian drummer, composer and songwriter career will have spanned 60 years next year, inspiring musicians across the world. If you listen to Allen's extraordinary cross-rhythms on all those great Fela Kuti records and you realise his impact is not exaggerated. He has perfected the drums as an art form across a rich back catalogue that blends the technical complexity of Jazz music with Highlife and Afrobeat producing a unique voice for the drums. His most recent release The Source on Blue Note in 2017, has received universal acclaim, described ‘an earthy, majestic, endlessly inventive album that caps both his own storied career and points the way toward the future’ (AllMusic).

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