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Fela once said that without Tony Allen, he’d need four drummers at once. Of course, the style we know as afrobeat wouldn’t sound anything like it without Tony Allen. A true intuitive pioneer, Mr Allen managed to mix the brevity and snap of jazz drumming by the likes of Art Blakey, Max Roach, and Guy Warren, with the deep extended forms of African rhythms from highlife, and yoruba.

The musical conversation between Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks and Tony Allen is still being felt today, having influenced practically every new genre of dance music from the 70s onwards. Emigrating to London in 1984, before moving to Paris, Allen has recorded with many African greats such as King Sunny Adé, and Manu Dibango, as well as working with such diverse international artists as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sébastien Tellier, Jimi Tenor and Damon Albarn.

Still flipping poly-rhythms today, Tony Allen manages to find time to craft sublime solo albums like Film Of Life, on top of his collaborations and inspiring remixes of his music from producers like Carl Craig, Waajeed, Moritz von Oswald, andMark Ernestus.

RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY RADIO: Official page, Facebook, Twitter

YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE – LINK

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TONY ALLEN – AFRODISCO BEAT

TONY ALLEN – AFRICAN MESSAGE

TONY ALLEN – SECRET AGENT (LP)