Tony Allen – The Source (2017)

Tony Allen - The Source (2017)
Artist: Tony Allen
Album: The Source
Genre: Afrobeat
Origin: Nigeria
Released: 2017
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
Moody Boy 06:33
Bad Roads 05:48
Cruising 06:01
On Fire 06:17
Woro Dance 06:39
Tony’s Blues 05:00
Wolf Eats Wolf 05:37
Cool Cats 04:22
Push And Pull 05:56
Ewajo 05:34
Life Is Beautiful 06:26

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Drummer and Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen returns to his jazz roots for his first full-length Blue Note album, following the EP A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The Art Blakey arrangements married hard bop with an Afrobeat rhythmic sensibility: here the same approach is taken with original material (most of it composed and arranged by Allen and saxophonist Yann Jankielewicz). It’s a big sound: a rhythm section with drums, bass, keyboards and guitar joined by five horns.

There’s a bit more Afrobeat feel to these arrangements, especially on the tracks with Cameroonian guitarist Indy Dibongue playing rhythm guitar. “Cruising” demonstrates this approach: it begins with a bass riff, joined by guitar, then piano (and of course the full drum kit). The horns come in full force, followed by the winds and brass playing a call and response pattern. It has the sound of a little big band. “On Fire” is built on a walking bass riff (again rock-solid playing by bassist Mathias Allamane), with a hard bop head. It’s definitely a jazz tune, and elicits a jagged piano solo from Jean-Philippe Dary and a strong trumpet solo from Nicolas Giraud.

Dibongue gets a guitar solo on “Tony’s Blues” (although it’s still pretty rhythmic). “Push and Pull” has a contrapuntal horn introduction, showing that the horns are more than just an afterthought to the grooves. The closer “Life Is Beautiful” functions as the ballad of the set. It features Remi Sciuto’s flute, and a guest clavinet solo from producer Vincent Taurelle (notable for using the instrument for something other than funk). African and French musicians playing American jazz, recorded on analog tape: this is fusion of a special kind.
By MARK SULLIVAN

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