LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigerian drummer and composer Tony Allen, who labored intently with musician Fela Kuti as a pioneer of the Afrobeat style, died in Paris aged 79, his supervisor stated.
The Afrobeat sound, which rose to prominence in Nigeria within the 1970s, mixed organ riffs with West African drum patterns and brass devices. Allen’s drumming was a key a part of the rhythmic construction that underpinned the fusion of jazz, funk and West African melodies.
Allen died on Wednesday night in Paris of a coronary heart assault, Nationwide Public Radio (NPR) cited his supervisor Eric Trosset as saying on Thursday.
“Farewell Tony! Your eyes noticed what most could not see. You’re the coolest particular person on Earth! As you used to say, “There is no such thing as a finish,” Trosset stated in a tribute posted on Fb.
Allen recorded greater than 30 albums with Kuti and his group, Africa ’70, which fused jazz, funk and African conventional singing.
The songs have been normally over 10 minutes lengthy and Kuti’s lyrics have been typically offended diatribes in opposition to corruption, African dictators and Nigeria’s navy regimes.
Kuti, who died in 1997, as soon as stated that “with out Tony Allen, there could be no Afrobeat”.
In later years Allen labored with a broad vary of artists together with musician Brian Eno who referred to Allen “maybe the best drummer who has ever lived”.
Reuters couldn’t instantly attain Allen’s supervisor for remark.
(Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram in Lagos and Bate Felix in Paris; Enhancing by Raissa Kasolowsky)