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Tropicology

Episode 45: Tony Allen Tribute

12:00pm, 5-10-2020
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On Thursday April 28 we lost one of the few remaining giants of twentieth century African music. I am referring to Tony Allen, the drummer who served as musical director for Fela Kuti’s band in Nigeria from 1964 to 1979 before pursuing a long solo career. Tony Allen played a huge role in developing the Afrobeat sound that is now probably Africa’s most popular musical export. He died in Paris, his home since 1985; this is not being reported as a coronavirus-related death. This news comes just one month after the death of another African music legend, Cameroon saxophonist Manu Dibango, who created the hit song “Soul Makossa,” and who was probably the most important pioneer in bringing African artists to record in Europe, and popularizing African sounds in Europe. Losing these two artists within one month’s time feels like a profound loss to the society of African musical legends, a moment when we acknowledge the passing of the old guard. Tony Allen, you were one of the most influential drummers of the last half century, you were a tremendously positive force as a human, and you were the first and always the best to make a kit drum sound African. This show will be a tribute to the music of Tony Allen; all tracks today featuring the master on drums. 

  • 12:02pm Moody Boy by Tony Allen on The Source (Blue Note)
  • 12:04pm Push and Pull by Tony Allen on The Source (Blue Note)
  • 12:09pm Get Together by Tony Allen on Black Voices (Comet)
  • 12:15pm Gentleman by Fela Kuti & Africa 70 on Gentleman (Knitting Factory Records)
  • 12:25pm Palm-Wine Sound by Fela Kuti & Africa 70 on Fear Not For Man (Barclay)
  • 12:30pm Wolf Eats Wolf by Tony Allen on The Source (Blue Note)
  • 12:35pm Go Slow by Fela Kuti and Africa 70 on Up Side Down (Knitting Factory Records)
  • 12:50pm J.J.D. part 1 by Fela Kuti & Africa 70 on J.J.D. (Knitting Factory Records)
  • 1:01pm Asiko by Tony Allen on Black Voices (Comet)
  • 1:09pm Everything Scatter by Fela Kuti on Everything Scatter (Barclay)
  • 1:21pm Jeun Koku by Fela Ransome-Kuti & His Nigeria 70 on Hit-Parade Africain vol 2 (Pathe Marconi)
  • 1:23pm Ye Ye De Smell by Fela Kuti with Ginger Baker on Live (Barclay)
  • 1:30pm No Agreement (part 2) by Fela Kuti on No Agreement (Barclay)
  • 1:40pm Igbe by Fela Kuti & Africa 70 on Gentleman (Knitting Factory)
  • 1:42pm Who No Know No Go by Fela Kuti & Africa 70 on Everything Scatter (Barclay)
  • 1:53pm Sorrow Tears and Blood by Fela Kuti & Africa 70 on Sorrow Tears and Blood (Barclay)
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