Tony Allen

Tony Allen’s Film of Life – 2014 Music Supreme

“Thank you for listening to my music” Tony Allen says humbly in the opening track of Film of Life. The Nigerian-born, Paris-based drummer/composer/songwriter/musical director best-known to Afrobeat lovers as its co-founder and pioneer alongside Fela Kuti for a long time thereafter, continues ‘Moving On’ by reminding us of past album titles from his long and legendary music career which are (sadly) just as relevant today as then (No Discrimination for example). Tony Allen finishes his introduction to Film of Life by telling listeners to “Check it out”.

Tony Allen - Film of Life (2014)

In response to Tony Allen I’d say “Thank you for 50+ years of making and playing incredible music for the world to hear and enjoy for the rest of time”. Moving on more specifically to Film of Life I say to readers here “Check it out” you must. It’s one of the world’s most valuable musical creations of 2014 and the supreme of all albums added to my music collection this past year.

Ten tracks collaboratively written and performed by Tony Allen and other great artists (Damon Albarn NefretitiAdunni Kuku) and produced by French trio The Jazzbastards, means diversity. Afrobeat lovers will find music and vocals easily recognisable as straight ol’ (quality) Afrobeat. Flying Lotus fans could be forgiven for thinking some songs from Film of Life are collaborations between Steven Ellison and Tony Allen.  Folks into futuristic spy movies might sometimes feel they’re hearing the soundtrack to their favourite film. Lovers of all sounds funk get plenty of them all throughout Film of Life. Dub heads get their fix too.

Then there’s other bunches of different musical flavours again, like the albums first single co-written and performed with Damon Albarn (Blur / Gorillaz).

The consistency linking it all together is the very distinct-sounding and absolutely supreme chops of 74 year old Tony Allen on drum kit, perfectly playing his multi-layered polyrythyms better-than-ever before; and demonstrating again with Film of Life that in a globalised world of cross-genre music he never fails to drive his ‘Afrobeat Expresso’ into the current day and up front of the musical lane.

Tony Allen - Film of Life (2014)

Given the diversity of sounds on Film of Life two songs can’t properly represent what it is (especially in compressed mp3 version). Here’s a sample taste of its flavours anyway…

Tony Allen - Film of Life (2014)

Film of Life (2014)

‘African Man’ – Tony Allen – Film of Life (2014)


‘Afo KunfFu Beat’ – Tony Allen – Film of Life (2014)


If you like the samples, check out Film of Life in it’s highest sound quality version you must. Hear it on vinyl, or at least cd. Keep that and any past Tony Allen albums you can find in your valuable music collection forever thereafter. Amen.

And a happy new year of music to all! 🙂

Share this...
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter