CD Secret Agent [Digipak] (CD 6308362),
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Secret Agent [Digipak]

  • 1. Secret Agent
    2. Ijo
    3. Switch
    4. Celebrate
    5. Ayenlo
    6. Busybody
    7. Pariwo
    8. Nina Lowo
    9. Atuwaba
    10. Alutere
    11. Elewon Po
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 21074

  • Credits
    ProducerFixi; Fixi; Tony Allen
    EngineerMorris Kawel; Fixi; Lucas Chauvire

    Personnel: Tony Allen (drums, percussion); Claude Dibongue (guitar); Fixi (accordion, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Yann Jankielewicz (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Jean Jacques Elangue (tenor saxophone); Nicolas Giraud (trumpet); Simon Andrieux (trombone); Yinka Ogunye (percussion); Bolande Kamson, Deborah Ohiri, Soji Adetona, Shade Orobiyi, Michael Okorie (background vocals).
    Liner Note Author: Chris May.
    Recording information: Studio Calm, Paris; Studio Nemours Street, Paris; Studio Soyuz, Paris; Studioworks, Lagos.
    Photographers: Hugo Glendinning; Eric Trosset.
    Arranger: Fixi.
    It's no surprise that Tony Allen's new album does nothing to dim his reputation as one of the world's greatest drummers. He's the personification of subtlety, leading from the back and carefully pushing and prodding the music, but doing this so cleverly that half the time people don't even notice he's there. He's certainly a man whose four limbs operate independently, setting up cross- and counter-rhythms that add extra levels of texture and complexity to the music. On Secret Agent, recorded in his native Lagos, he's joined by a number of guests (including five different vocalists), but the core musicians working with him are producer Fixi, who contributes several instruments, and Cameroonian guitarist Claude Dibongue, who works well in this framework. It's largely Afrocentric, and definitely political, in the best tradition of Allen's late employer, Fela Kuti. Allen himself contributes vocals to the opening and closing tracks, showing he's more than a drummer, even if his voice is low-key. That he plays so well is remarkable. That he does it like this when he's almost 70 is amazing. ~ Chris Nickson

  • Critic Reviews
    Pitchfork (Website) - "[I]t does represent Allen continuing his late career high, mellow in the way he swings songs like 'Busybody' or 'Pariwo' but never more confdient....Allen as always lies back and waits for you to come to him."
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