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Lagos No Shaking


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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Nov 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Honest Jon's Records
  • ASIN: B002BHWKBC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,718 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

'the best soul album — in the real sense of the word — you'll hear this year... classic, blistering afro-beat' (Daily Telegraph); 'as tight as a pressure cooker... fierce and fun' (The Wire); 'son meilleur album... monumentale, triomphante, orgasmique' (Les Inrockuptibles); '**** utterly infectious... a triumphant return' (The Observer). Tony Allen is the co-creator of Afrobeat, and one of the most distinctive and in-demand drummers on the planet. No one swings like this Nigerian rhythm man — with that amazing, loose-limbed, poly-rhythmic technique that has powered some of the funkiest and most challenging dance music ever created. And Lagos No Shaking is his most powerful and personal album to date: a return to core values; a testament to the fact that afrobeat is best served straight — hot, hard and percussion-heavy. Tony Allen grew up surrounded by rhythm: the local palm-wine and juju sounds loved by his motor mechanic father, and the pan-African, big-band highlife then sweeping the clubs of Africa — exemplified by the great hanaian bandleader E. T. Mensah. The young Tony developed an obsession with drums, but opportunities to get near a kit were few and far between in 1950s Lagos. He made his professional debut at the age of 18, while working as a radio technician, playing claves with Sir Victor Olaiya and his Cool Cats, when the regular drummer left, Tony was handed the sticks. He went on honing his technique with Negu Morris And The Heatwaves, the Nigerian Messengers and the Western Toppers Highlife Band. His role models were Art Blakey and the Ghanaian drummer Koffi Ghanaba, aka Guy Warren. Then, in 1964, Tony was invited to audition for a band called Koola Lobitos, led by a young Nigerian — just returned from music studies in London — named Fela Kuti. Fela's influence on the young drummer was incalculable. But then so was Tony's on Fela. Here was exactly the musician Fela had been looking for: capable of fusing jazz and highlife sensibilities and sounding, as Kuti put it, 'like five drummers at once'. If Fela was afrobeat's mind and mouth, Tony Allen was its arms and legs, his webs of cascading off-beats endlessly powering the music forward. Allen split with Fela in 1978 — citing the bandleader's lack of care for his musicians. He relocated to Paris in 1980, involving himself in an amazing diversity of collaborative projects over the succeeding decades. Now, finally, Tony Allen himself is back. Recorded over ten all-night sessions in the Ikeja district, Lagos No Shaking is the first Lagos-recorded album on which Tony has had complete artistic freedom. It is also a truly collaborative work, which draws on the city's diverse musical traditions and brings together several generations of Lagosian musical talent. Key among the veterans is the extraordinary 76 year-old palm-wine singer Fatai Rolling Dollar, who adds his throatily commanding tones and throbbing agidigbo thumb piano to four tracks. From Fela's classic Afrika 70 and Egypt 80 line-ups, saxmen Baba Ani and Show Boy add that essential deep-blasting horn undertow. There are the r&b sensibilities of Yinka Davies and Omololu Ogunleye; and Muritala Adisa adds touches of ewe, a form of spoken praise-singing rooted in ancent Yoruba tradition. Key element is, of course, Tony Allen's powerful, yet magnicently relaxed drumming, which keeps everything in perpetual rocking motion, tempering the hard funk edges of classic afrobeat with earthier Lagosian flavours. Indeed, while the album's observations on Lagos life are aptly tough and sardonic, this is a warmer, more down-home, perhaps a more humane album than anything Fela ever produced. Lagos No Shaking means Lagos is on form, Lagos is solid; and on Awa Na Re Fatai Rolling Dollar sings the praises of a city that has been much reviled – not least by its own inhabitants. 'Lagos is a fantastic place,' he sings over rolling traditional percussion. 'In Lagos you can get whatever you want.' Ise Nla maintains the mood with talk of a 'dream ticket, a fantastic job'. In Moyege Lolu thanks his parents for good upbringing and the freedom he feels when he stays with them. Ole ('Lazy') and Ogogoro — an ode to the local gin, complete with drunken marital discussion — warn of the dangers of hanging around in bars. Morose bemoans the grim expressions of the people of Lagos; and Losun alleges and lambasts the inexpressiveness of Nigerian men with true afrobeat frankness. Lagos No Shaking is a spectacular homecoming for Tony Allen, an acerbic, unflinching love letter to the city that gave him life in rhythm.

BBC Review

Tony Allen played drums in Fela Kuti's bands between 1964 and 1978, contributing a vital element to Afrobeat's evolution. And while he's been active as a bandleader for nearly three decades, Allen's presence has intensified during the last five years.

This set was recorded in Lagos, and manages to harness the rugged grit of that difficult city, whilst simultaneously presenting Allen's signature sound with a slick production sheen. Intense horn riffs, choppy guitar, call-and-response vocals: all of these elements are interwoven with Allen's detailed, cyclic beats, his taut tripping lending an elastic tension to the dancefloor.

The tunes tend to insinuate themselves after several airings. Young, soulful Yinka Davies powers abrasively through "Morose" and "Losun", two songs that boast almost annoyingly catchy choruses, then elderly groaner Fatai Rolling Dollar imparts a completely traditional juju feel to "Awa Na Re", prompting Allen to layer up some heavy hardcore percussion patterns. --Martin Longley

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. O. Shobowale on 22 May 2006
Format: Audio CD
There is no doubting the all pervasive influence of Fela's afrobeat in this work. This is a fruit of Tony Allens relationship with Fela and this work validates his pedigree as one of the creators of the 70's afrobeat rythm that still shakes the world today.
Undoubtedly his best work so far, this is an attestation to the uniqueness and the boundless influence of afrobeat as the only music form that not only expresses the link that exists between african music and other modern music forms, but clearly validates african music as the progenitor of Funk, rhythm and blues, rap, jazz, rock etc.
A must own for avid fans of Fela, Antibalas, Femi Kuti, Thievery Corporation, Red Hot Chilli peppers, Lagbadja etc.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Tony Allen's Lagos 17 Oct 2006
By EJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The latest release from Tony Allen is not to be overlooked, this is his first recording in Nigeria in many years. It's a gift to hear these fierce, funky rhythms with an original feel. No need to make comparisons to Fela...the Fela foundation will always be there...but we have to give it up to Tony, for creating a tight and eclectic production with his trademark percussive beats and steady bass and guitars to keep the groove in motion. And just in case you weren't energized enough, the brass and vocals shine bold and powerful. It is difficult to select one track over another, but pay attention to, "Ole" and "Kilode." The last two tracks, "Moyege" and "Gbedu" will keep you in suspense...you won't want this Lagos party to end.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lagos IS Shaking 11 July 2010
By K. Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Man, I can't seem to get this one out of my CD player.....every time I listen to it I hear new things and love it more.....WOW....if you dig Fela, Afrobeat or just good snappy funky tunes, this is for you.
Love it! One of my all time favorite 19 Nov 2014
By Darrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love it ! One of my all time favorite
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