AFROBEAT LEGEND TONY ALLEN PAYS TRIBUTE TO JAZZ LEGEND ART BLAKEY
April 21 2017
Blue Note Records has announced the May 19 digital release of Tony Allen’s new EP, A Tribute to Art Blakey. On the 4-track EP the legendary Nigerian drummer and Afrobeat pioneer best known for his work with Fela Kuti pays tribute to his longstanding idol, the American jazz drummer and Blue Note legend Art Blakey. The pre-order for the EP launched today with the release of the track “Moanin’” which is available now to stream or download.
The EP was recorded live in Allen’s current hometown of Paris and features a fiery 7-piece band interpreting the Jazz Messengers classics “Moanin’,” “A Night In Tunisia,” “Politely” and “Drum Thunder Suite” through an Afrobeat prism. The EP was produced by Vincent Taurelle, whose production credits also include Allen's previous album Film of Life.
While American jazz—in particular the recordings of Blakey and Max Roach—had a big impact on Allen during his early musical development in Nigeria, the music of Africa was also hugely influential for Blakey (aka Abdullah Ibn Buhaina) throughout his career. In the late-1940s Blakey spent time traveling abroad in West Africa exploring the culture, religion, and of course, the drumming. Blakey later recorded several albums that were heavily influenced by African music including Orgy in Rhythm (1957), Holiday for Skins (1958), and The African Beat (1962), which featured the Nigerian drummer and percussionist Solomon Ilori.