Allen was the drummer who shaped the Afrobeat sound with Fela. The two of them combined jazz and Nigerian pop and lots of political edge to create a music that drove the central government wild. I once had tickets to see Fela in NY, but he was imprisioned in Nigeria and couldn’t travel. I did see Tony Allen once, at the Knitting Factory when it was on Leonard Street in New York’s Tribeca. A joy, and the opening band was Antibalas, a Brooklyn based Afrobeat band. They didn’t cover Fela, they didn’t impersonate him, but they surely inhabited his vibe and made it work. Antilbalas eventually became the house band when the musical about Fela and Tony Allen hit Broadway.
Tony Allen is drumming on this, maybe Fela and Afrika 70’s greatest song.