Thread: Tony Allen
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:23 AM
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okiemuse okiemuse is offline
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Ethnocentric. That's how I may introduce every post about Tony Allen being inexcusably omitted from the "official" list of important drummers. Consider this: Jazz, Rock, Blues. Three incredibly popular music forms that are musical cousins. What is their ancestry? The convergence of European and African musical ideas mostly in the United States (via slavery). Major contributions from England, etc. What were those ideas? Europeans generally focused on melody and chords, with any words originating from a designated source as the audience remained mostly silent. Also an unwritten rule that most of the really good stuff originated with or belonged to society's more prestigious/affluent persons. Africans (African-Americans in this instance) generally focused on rhythmic emphasis and invention, with the invention half of that quickly becoming something applied to melody and chords in addition to rhythm (ragtime & jazz). Lyrical expression with roots in both call-and-response and in the need of abused, low-status people to express themselves (think Blues), which contributed to the idea that you could sing your story without being officially sanctioned as a proper "pretty" voice. Hello Rock 'n' Roll and it's formative front persons: Mick Jagger, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, et al. In a place like Drummerworld, full of talented, thoughtful, intelligent people, I should not have to go on any more about this, so I'll end this post. But, considering at least one shocking omission from the official list, maybe I need to end the post the way it began (regarding who does/doesn't merit respect). Ethnocentric.

This site's official list of drummers who merit special attention is a goldmine for those new to percussion. Sadly, it also reflects some ethnocentrism. The club recognizes artists from the U.S., Europe and occasionally the Caribbean. But it appears -- according to The List -- there is no significant talent in Africa. Not even Allen, one of the most important drummers in the world.
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Last edited by Bernhard; 04-07-2013 at 05:44 AM. Reason: Edited by Arky: merging consecutive posts
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