By Frank Alkyer | Published June 2017
I know it’s only June, but Tony Allen gets my vote for EP (extended play) recording of the year with A Tribute To Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers. The Nigerian drummer just slams with a seven-piece band guaranteed to make you tap your toes and throw a smile on your face. Blakey was one of the 76-year-old Allen’s heroes growing up, and it shows here. “Moanin’,” “A Night In Tunisia,” “Politely” and “The Drum Thunder Suite” jump out of the speakers with sweat, joy and bravado. Clocking in at 24 minutes, 33 seconds, A Tribute To Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers doesn’t waste any time. It’s a record you can put on with your morning coffee to send you out proper into the world … without being late! Thank you for this EP, Mr. Allen. This one’s a true gift.