Tony Allen & Adrian Younge – “Don’t Believe The Dancers”

The legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen died in 2020, at the age of 79, and he kept working right up until the end. Allen was most famous for playing with Fela Kuti for many years, but he never stopped collaborating with other artists. Since Allen’s death, a whole lot of music has come out, including tracks with Gorillaz, Skepta, and Sampa The Great, as well as a whole album with Joan As Police Woman and Dave Okumu. Now, there’s another posthumous Tony Allen album coming out, and we’ve got a track from it.

In 2018, Tony Allen got together with the soul and funk producer Adrian Younge in an LA studio. Younge co-founded the Jazz Is Dead label with a Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad. He scored the movie Black Dynamite, and he’s worked with artists like Ghostface Killah, Roy Ayers, and La Luz. Together, Younge and Tony Allen recorded an LP called Tony Allen JID018, and it’s set to come out on what would’ve been Allen’s 83rd birtday.

The LP’s first single is a funky, rippling instrumental called “Don’t Believe The Dancers.” It’s as indebted to ’70s American jazz-funk as it is to Afrobeat, and it shows how those genres always spoke to one another. Check it out below.

Tony Allen JID018 is out 7/7 on Jazz Is Dead.