Tony Allen - The Source
Tony Allen has just seen a childhood dream come true. He even says that when he madeåÊThe Source(his opus number twelve in the discography), it was the best recording in his whole life. The saxophonist Yann Jankielewicz, who has been playing alongside him for some ten years, observes: "Tony has never played drums as well as this. He's never had as much freedom, never had as much power as he does today."åÊThe SourceåÊis the Nigerian drummer's first album for Blue Note, one of the most prestigious names in jazz and a label that has opened its sphere of activity considerably wider since its renaissance in the Eighties. Perhaps more than any other title in the catalogue,åÊThe Sourcerepresents the label's classic era at the same time as it symbolizes Blue Note's innovative present. The album achieves this by means of a sound-aesthetic that has total integrity, the result of a scrupulous transcribing of the music using a technology that is exclusively analogue, and doing so according to the precepts of the virtuous philosophy inherited from the label's founders, Alfred Lion and Marx Margulis. ButåÊThe SourceåÊalso reflects Blue Note by its hybrid nature, because the jazz here is a mode of navigation that allows us to return upriver to the source in Africa, a journey made with the kind of modern-era exigency that makes this record stand apart from others: as an object, it is totally captivating.