Probably one of the greatest musicians in the world has passed away. Tony Allen, who created the particular groove of afrobeat alongside Fela Kuti, died in Paris, this Thursday, April the 30th, following a malaise unrelated to the coronavirus.
After being the drummer and conductor for Africa 70, Fela Kuti’s band, Tony Allen has worked with a myriad of musicians bringing his inimitable style compatible with an infinity of genres. The funky jazz soul of Toy Ayers, the electro of Jeff Mills, the sophisticated pop of Damon Albarn, the afrobeat revival of Antibalas, the solar songs of Salif Keita or Oumou Sangaré, or the french songs of Sébastien Tellier and Charlotte Gainsbourg, all have embraced his unique and recognizable strike.
Having signed many warmly recommended albums, Tony Allen had just issued Rejoice, a collaboration with Hugh Massekela, which was finalized after the death, in 2018, of the South African trumpeter.
Less than a month ago, Tony Allen had offered to the #AuxSons readers the Playlist of his favorite songs of the moment.
Brian Eno said of Tony Allen that he was « Probably the greatest drummer to have ever existed » and it is true that rarely any drummer has left such an indelible stamp.
© photo : Bernard Benant