Do you wonder about Tony Allen? Are you interested with afrobeat and drumming? If your answer “yes!” for these questions than I highly recommend you to get this great autobiographical book of Tony Allen; “Tony Allen – An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat” by Michael E. Veal. Book contains most important eras of Tony Allen, you can read lots of details about how Allen started on the drums, his meeting with Fela and all this crazy happenings around a innovator of afrobeat drumming, while he is struggling with Nigerian army, Fela’s dominant character as a orchestra leader and more…
I would like to share you introduction of this great material of Tony Allen, with the powerful words of Michael Veal, I believe you realize more about afrobeat, afrobeat drumming and of course Tony Oladipo Allen… Continue Reading →
Here is a short passage from the Tony Allen’s autobiographical book (Michael Veal’s “TONY ALLEN an autobiography of the master drummer of afrobeat). You will read how Tony Allen creates his unique afrobeat patterns with the great orchestra of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s Africa 70 and how people reacted this unique patterns of afrobeat on the times that they are being played actively on Fela’s Shrime.
“… With all those tecniques I had brought back, it was too much for these drummers! Plus all those subtle things I was doing inside the groove matched up beautifully with that what Kofi was doing on the congas. Kofi played the congas with his hands and with sticks as well, and he was a master at getting all the different tones out of the drums. He played on the head, he played on the side of the drum, and he played on the rim. We sounded great together.
With the 1971 LP Shakara, Fela and Africa 70 enjoyed one of their biggest early hits. A two-track set comprising “Sakara (shakara) Olojie” and “Lady”, it marks the transition of Afrobeat from its late 1960s foetal stage to something approaching its full-grown form.
Up-tempo, with a characteristically turbulent horn arrangement, “Sakaha (shakara) Olojie” is a mainly-instrumental track. It includes strong solos from Fela on keyboards and Igo Chico on tenor saxophone. Continue Reading →
The fury stirred up among the Nigerian police and military by Fela’s furiously confrontational albums Alagbon Close in 1974, and the beatings and harassments Fela & Africa 70 suffered as a consequence, were as nothing compared to the reprisals following a later 1976 album, Zombie.
Within months of its release, a large-scale army attack left Fela’s Kalakuta Republic compound burnt to the ground, and many of its occupants, including Fela, assaulted and seriously injured. The sacking of Kalakuta was not, of course, brought about only by Zombie, but in the tension then existing between Fela and the military, it raised the temperature to boiling point. Continue Reading →