Tony Allen – An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat by Michael E. Veal (Part 2)

Fela Kuti’s High-life Jazz Band

“…Tony Allen was at the epicenter of Fela’s music, from their mutual fascination with straight-ahead jazz in the early 1960s, through the swinging, good-time days of dance-band highlife in post-independence Ghana and Nigeria at mid-decade, through the funk and Black Power epiphanies in Los Angeles at decade’s end, to Fela’s countercultural “Kalakuta Republic” in 1970s, and on into the early years of African music’s global presence in the “world beat” market of 1980s and 1990s. Their story began as one of friendship and collaboration, and later degenerated through a series of misunderstandings that provided yet another vivid example of the destructive impact of fame and the sobering effects of personal tragedy. Continue Reading →

Short story of the Sakara (Shakara) Olojie

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 →

Tony’s contribution on Afrobeat music

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.

Continue Reading →