Tony Allen: The Source (Blue Note) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, August 8th, 2020  

Tony Allen

The Source

Blue Note

Sep 25, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Find It At: AMAZON

Drummer Tony Allen has already gifted the world at least one lifetime's worth of rhythmic innovation, working both solo and with legendary collaborator Fela Kuti to alchemize the sinewy, slithering grooves of Afrobeat. With The Source, Blue Note is trying to make a fuss about Allen bringing his monstrous dexterity back around to the jazz which inspired him in his youth, but that's honestly a bit of a misnomer: this album is as much an Afrobeat record as anything else, and little of the music feels all that indebted to early heroes like Art Blakey. The line between genres is smeared a bit, though, and the lack of a bikini briefs-clad firebrand holding court out front might make it easier to get confused about what to call it. Regardless, Allen is playing to all his strengths here, flanked by a battery of European musicians (plus, on one track, Damon Albarn) who keep it loose, yet focused. The resulting wiggle waggle, all told, is mighty as hell; one could say Allen is like a fine wine, but few wineries have the horse sense to have someone rip an earth-rending trombone solo on their product, so really, Allen is actually better than that. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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