Gig Alert: Tony Allen

Email a Friend

Tony Allen
“Secret Agent”
Playing Wednesday at Le Poisson Rouge
(158 Bleecker St., Greenwich Village)
Get: Tickets ($18) | Directions

Thanks to a certain hit Broadway show, Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti has at long-last received his place in music history. But if there’s one other name from the Afrobeat pantheon that you need to know, it's Tony Allen, Fela’s first and greatest drummer. Allen first started playing with Fela in 1964 in a jazz-highlife band before the hard funk-driven Afrobeat sound was even invented. He went on to craft the rhythm behind Fela’s music, and is keeping the beat alive long after the master’s death. In 2009, he released the album Secret Agent on World Circuit records. The title track, available here, is a Fela-style jam that updates the classic sound with some psychedelic guitars and a crispier horn sound than ever.