Recommended: Tony Allen – “The Source”


There’s no use trying to pigeon-hole the music of Tony Allen.  The drummer is most often associated for his tenure with Fela Kuti, but Allen’s music passport is ragged from the stamps of different genres and a diverse set of projects.  That creative elasticity is a big reason for the success of his debut on Blue Note Records: African folk song melodies ride the currents of hard bop rhythms, an afro-beat rhythmic pulse opens the door for big-band-sized harmonies to glide on through, a melody shaped with a pop music sensibility and a rhythm that hints at an electronica beat gets swept up into the arms of Afro-Jazz enthusiasm… and these are just a few of the nuanced derivatives of a life spent exploring new music.  The culmination of the experience gained from that journey is why Allen is able to bring all of it together in one cohesive voice.  The ripples of influence and expressionism on The Source never fully divert the attention away from the singular entity of the pond.  This give and take between the changing details and seamless transitions is an understated way of making a pretty thrilling album.

Your album personnel: Tony Allen (drums), Mathias Allamane (bass), Indy Dibongue (guitar), Jean-Philippe Dary (piano, organ), Yann Jankielewicz (soprano Sax), Nicolas Giraud (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jean-Jacques Elangue (tenor sax), Remi Sciuto (baritone & alto saxophones, flute), Daniel Zimmermann (trombone, tuba) and guests: Damon Albarn (piano), Vincent Taurelle (clavinet).

Released on Blue Note Records.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Soundcloud page.

Music from Paris, France.

Available at Amazon