Tony Allen: Film of Life (Jazz Village, 2014)
I don’t think it was the greatest idea to have the track with Damon Albarn of Blur be the first piece of music to be heard from this Tony Allen. Not only is it one of the softer and weaker tunes, the David Bowie look-a-like nugget is just not representative at all of what the rest of the record sounds like.
Many claim Tony Allen to be the greatest drummer alive and while I don’t condone rankings he’s up there. His funkiness is unrivalled, his touch is soft, and his sense of timing is just, man he’s just such a natural drummer it’s crazy.
When I was taking tune by tune notes the other night on this record there were more than a couple of ‘great melody’ notes, ‘great bass line’, ‘doesn’t sound like an afrobeat record’ kind of notes. The record has Afrobeat influences in it, but it’s not a macho affair like many Afrobeat records.
The first two tunes feature Tony Allen vocals and I really enjoyed his voice and wanted to hear more. So it’s a really melodic African record — my favorite tunes were Boat Journey and the third tune, Tiger’s Skip.
I hope folks check it out.