Ayoola Share, MD/CEO of Inspiro, has expressed shock over the death of Tony Allen.
The jazz festival organiser was the last promoter to bring the saxophonist to Lagos, Nigeria, last year, for the gig entitled No Shaking Homecoming Tribute Concert
He is among the few who has reacted to the death of the famous musician who also was with Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
“What I want to remember about him is our musical conversation, our laughter, our joy. They are gone, but they are not gone for me,” he told Doggone News Associated (DNA).
“His Nigerian manager based in the US, Kole Payne, facilitated the concert. The show was a resounding success. Uncle Tony was elated. He was happy to be back amongst his people and celebrated like that. He announced to the crowd that he wanted to do this more often. We planned to bring his to the Lagos International Jazz Festival 2020 which which we dedicates to him, Dr. Victor Olaiya, & Manu Dibango,” he added.
He described Allen as not just a great musician or drummer, but a great human being personally. “He had no airs about him and could collaborate with anyone and he did. “He was gentle, kind, generous, accommodating, approachable, smart and gifted. He was a good human being first and foremost.
“I am happy I was able to celebrate him here in Nigeria last December, but I am also pained because we had just really started to get to work together on projects for what we termed the Tony Allen Afrobeat Legacy Project. Afrobeat meets Afrobeats.
“We will miss him but his music lives on in our hearts.”
According to BBC News, the pioneering Nigerian drummer; a co-founder of the afrobeat musical genre, died in Paris on Thursday aged 79.
His manager, Eric Trosset, told NPR radio that he had died of a heart attack. AFP said his death was not linked to coronavirus.
Allen was the drummer and musical director of musician Fela Kuti’s famous band Africa ’70 in the 1960-70s.
Fela, as he was widely known, died in 1997. He once said that “without Tony Allen, there would be no afrobeat”.
Afrobeat combines elements of West Africa’s fuji music and highlife styles with American funk and jazz.
Other world stars who have paid their tributes, including, UK musician Brian Eno, described Allen as “perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived”.
Trosset also led tributes in a Facebook post saying “your eyes saw what most couldn’t see… as you used to say: ‘There is no end'”.
Beninois singer Angelique Kidjo told the BBC’s Newsday programme that she had been hit hard by both Allen’s death and the passing of Cameroonian saxophone legend Manu Dibango in March.
By Aduloju Daniel & Agency Report