"Without Tony Allen, there would be no afrobeat" Tony Allen
"Perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived" Brian Eno
While American jazz - in particular the recordings of Blakey and Max Roach - had a big impact on Allen during his early musical development in Nigeria, the music of Africa was also hugely influential for Blake throughout his career.
In the late-1940s Blakey spent time travelling abroad in West Africa exploring the culture, religion, and of course, the drumming. Blakey later recorded several albums that were heavily influenced by African music including Orgy in Rhythm (1957), Holiday for Skins (1958), and The African Beat (1962), which featured the Nigerian drummer and percussionist Solomon Ilori.