Afrobeat Drummer and Jeff Mills Collaborator Tony Allen Dead at 80

by | May 1, 2020 | News | 0 comments

An instrumentalist whose path intersected with those of numerous electronic musicians has passed away. Tony Allen has died at the age of 80 in Paris, according to Sahara Reporters. No additional details are available at the time of writing.

In addition to his seminal work in the Afrobeat genre as a drummer, Allen worked alongside techno innovators such as Jeff Mills and Moritz von Oswald. Ambient pioneer Brian Eno once remarked that the Lagos-born musician was “perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived.”

“Rhythms and patterns so complex and on such a high level of communication, there are not words yet created to describe what he created,” wrote Mills in a Facebook post. “It was otherworldly. He was otherworldly! A master musician and a master thinker.”

Allen was perhaps best known for his work as the musical director for the Fela & Africa ’70, which saw him record 30 albums alongside Fela Kuti. More recently, he had collaborated with the likes of Damon Albarn of Gorillaz and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea.

Memorial and funeral arrangements for Tony Allen are still pending at the time of writing.

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