Allen went on to release a string of solo albums and numerous collaborations. He told British newspaper the Guardian of his first post-Fela album, “No Accommodation”:

I decided to do four tracks on the record which you would consider Afrobeat—up until then, Fela would do two tracks maximum on a record which were Afrobeat, but I wanted to give people more. Our approach was inspired by James Brown and his really long versions of songs. We looked at that and thought: “Why can’t we do it?” and created these songs that last God knows how many minutes. With Afrobeat, you need to respect the amount of time it takes to grab you. You can’t write Afrobeat for radio because they edit and edit and edit until the music is dead.

While he never quite reached the commercial highs or political influence of his friend, he soon became a cultural icon of modern African music particularly after the death of Fela Kuti in 1997. Allen was also a huge critics’ favorite for continuing to push musical boundaries with his unique drumming sound late into his life.

In 2010 he collaborated with Blur’s Damon Albarn and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea in the band Rocket Juice & the Moon and in 2014, he was a member of the super-group collaboration with Albarn, Paul Simonon (the Clash) and Simon Tong (the Verve) on the The Good, The Bad and The Queen album project. He recently returned to his jazz roots by signing with iconic jazz label Blue Note and recorded two albums The Source and a tribute to Blue Note drummer Art Blakey.

This year he also released Rejoice, an album of recently completed recordings with the late South African trumpeter Hugh Masakela.

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