Flea, Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel and others take to social media to salute the late Afrobeat icon
Once again the music world mourns the death of another titan with the passing of African jazz legend Tony Allen.
The Nigerian drummer, who alongside his iconic collaborator Fela Kuti defined the sound of Afrobeat in the 1970s, died of abdominal aortic aneurysm at Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris on April 30. He was 83.
In the last 20 years alone, Allen’s star has risen exponentially thanks to his collaborations with Damon Albarn of Blur in the groups The Good, The Bad and The Queen–who released their vastly unsung second album Merrie Land in 2018–and Rocket Juice and The Moon, not to mention his excellent catalog as a jazz leader and collaborator. Just this March, the newly relaunched World Circuit Records put out Rejoice, a brilliant LP by Allen and the late African trumpet master Hugh Maskeleka, who died in 2018. If this album serves as the final recording of Tony Allen, what a way to bow out.
But nobody was expecting Tony Allen to die, even in this frightening time of Coronavirus. Its truly shocking, and his loss reverberated all across social media from friends and fans alike.
Rest In Peace, Tony Allen. We were not ready to lose you.
AUDIO: Tony Allen Film of Life (full album)
AUDIO: Tony Allen with Afrika 70 No Accomodation For Lagos (full album)
AUDIO: Tony Allen Homecooking (full album)
AUDIO: Tony Allen Black Voices (full album)
VIDEO: Tony Allen/ Hugh Masekela Rejoice (listening session)
VIDEO: Tony Allen Tribute To Art Blakey