via Juno: Those who’ve studied Tony Allen’s distinctive drumming style often cite Art Blakey as an influence, so it’s little surprise to find him paying tribute to the legendary jazz drummer on this superb album.
Joined by his regular band, Allen covers a quartet of tracks written and recorded by Blakey and his band, the Jazz Messengers. The results are predictably impressive, with Allen’s loose and polyrhythmic percussion providing a rock solid foundation for the horns, piano and double bass that sits atop.
It’s naturally closer to all-out Jazz than to Afrobeat, but still bristles with the kind of punchy horns and life-affirming playing that characterizes Allen’s work. ‘Thunder Suite’, in which Allen drops a number of sweaty drum solos, is particularly potent.
“A Tribute To Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers” released May 18, 2017 on Blue Note Records