Review - Tony Allen - "Tribute To Art Blakey". Old Fruitmatrket. Glasgow Jazz Festival, June 2017
|Tony Allen and band, at Glasgow Jazz Festival 2017|
Tony Allen's recently released first record for the Blue Note label looks back at the work of Art Blakey, with a four track EP. He expands this in a live performance at the Glasgow Jazz Festival 2017 at the Old Fruitmarket. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Tony Allen's drumming style mixed West African rhythms with jazz music, from the likes of Art Blakey and Max Roach, to create his own unique style and sound that drove forwards the music of Fela Kuti and others to create "Afro-beat". Since then he has been sought out for collaborations by many different musicians. I saw him perform with Keiran Hebden (Four Tet) at the Tramway in a eye-opening collision of improvisation and electronic squeaks and squwaks. He played a couple of albums with Damon Albarn (as The Good, The Bad and the Queen) and performed drums of one of my favourite ever songs "5:55" by Charlotte Gainsbourg.
|Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow|
The Old Fruitmarket looked pretty full as the four musicians came on stage. With a dread-locked Jean-Phillipe Dary at the grand piano and keyboards on his right, and on his left Matthias Allamane on double bass, Tony Allen sat centre stage behind his drum kit, directing proceedings. With a nod here and a raised eyebrow there from behind his sunglasses, he would set off the saxophone or bass on a solo, before bringing it all back together with a rap on the drums.