Tony Allen announces London gig at Village Underground to launch forthcoming album ‘Film of Life’ (released October 2014)
Fresh from the release of ‘Go Back’ (featuring Damon Albarn), the first single to be taken from his forthcoming album ‘Film of Life’, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen has announced he will be launching the album at London venue Village Underground on 20th November 2014.
“Rhythm is the most perceptible and the least material thing in the world,” wrote John Miller Chernoff in his book, African Rhythm and African Sensibility. It has been thirty years since this observation inspired Brian Eno and David Byrne to revise their approach to music but if African rhythms began to alter the course of Western pop music, it is above all down to Tony Allen. He embodies the vitality of those rhythms, placing them at the cutting edge of modern music and over his fifty-year career has made himself a benchmark for musicians worldwide. Now his tenth album, Film of Life, looks back on this amazing adventure whilst continuing to explore new horizons…
Born in Lagos in 1940, Tony Oladipo Allen is an autodidact, a drummer who invented his technique by listening to Art Blakey and Max Roach. In the mid-1960s, his meeting with Fela Kuti was to forever change his destiny, which took on epic proportions with the invention of Afrobeat, where the rhythmic patterns of Yoruba meet instrumental funk and Pan-African slogans. The collaboration of these two musical giants would last fifteen years. Tony the human metronome then made the most of his newfound freedom to add to his afrobeat roots with everything from dub to pop. Since his first encounter with Damon Albarn, he has been a member of the groups The Good, The Bad and The Queen and Rocket Juice and the Moon, projects both led by the Blur singer. Very much in demand, he recently worked with such diverse artists as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sébastien Tellier and Joe Lovano.
At a time when Afrobeat, like Reggae, is becoming part of the globalised music scene, Film of Life travels back through an exemplary musical life. Along with the trio of French producers The Jazzbastards and a cast of world-class musicians, the master drummer confirms his powers of reinvention and gives us an album that brings together groove, jazz and psychedelic pop. For Tony Allen, who has always thought of his drums “as an orchestra” and who likes “to make them sing”, Film of Life marks the pinnacle of his achievement.
Tony Allen LIVE
Village Underground, London
20th November 2014
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