This article by Giovanni Russonello originally appeared in The New York Times.
Tony Allen puts a lot of respect into each drum stroke. He’s not a quick or flashy player; with him, your ear zooms out slowly: The full structure of a beat comes into view only after you’ve appreciated its components. Mr. Allen, who was the de facto musical director of Fela Kuti’s band, now lives in Paris, but lately he’s been working in the United States more than usual. So let’s zoom in.