Pheeroan akLaff

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Pheeroan akLaff
Pheeroan akLaff with the Oliver Lake Trio, Saalfelden, Austria, 2009
Pheeroan akLaff with the Oliver Lake Trio, Saalfelden, Austria, 2009
Background information
Born (1955-01-27) January 27, 1955 (age 66)
InstrumentsDrums, percussion

Pheeroan akLaff, born Paul Maddox (born January 27, 1955) is an American jazz drummer.[1][2][3] Pheeroan akLaff began playing in his hometown of Detroit, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Travis Biggs, Ars Nova, The Ebony Set, The Last Days, and Rod Lumpkin, recorded with Major Lansky. He moved to New Haven, Connecticut, and formed DejaVu with Dwight Andrews. He debuted with Bill Baron in 1975, followed by tenure in Leo Smith's New Dalta Ahkri.[4]

Later developed a longstanding association with Oliver Lake, which included writing for their fusion ensemble, Jump Up.[4] His performance and recorded history includes works with Andrew Hill, Cecil Taylor, Reggie Workman, and many others.[5] In 2006 he co-founded Seed Artists in Brooklyn and currently teaches music at Wesleyan University.


As leader[edit]

  • 1983: Fits Like a Glove (Gramavision)
  • 1989: Sonogram (Mu Works)
  • 1998: Global Mantras (Modern Masters)

As sideman[edit]

With Geri Allen

With Anthony Braxton

With Oliver Lake

With Henry Threadgill

With Jay Hoggard

  • The Right Place (JHVM, 2003)
  • Something 'Bout Believing (Twinz Records, 1999)
  • Love Is the Answer (Muse, 1994)
  • Riverside Dance (India Navigation), 1985
  • Love Survives (Gramavision, 1983

With Craig Harris

With Ray Anderson

  • What Because (Gramavision, 1989)

With Don Byron

With Anthony Davis

  • Hidden Voices (India Navigation, 1979) – with James Newton
  • Variations in Dream-time (India Navigation, 1980)
  • Episteme (Gramavision, 1981)
  • Hemispheres (Gramavision, 1983)

With Julius Hemphill

With Uwe Kropinski

  • First Time in Manhattan (ITM, 1993)

With Amina Claudine Myers

With Sonny Sharrock

With Wadada Leo Smith

With Mal Waldron

With Reggie Workman

  • Summit Conference (Postcards, 1993)

With Yōsuke Yamashita

  • Kurdish Dance (Verve, 1993)
  • Dazzling Days (Verve, 1993)
  • Fragments 1999 (Verve, 1999)
  • Spider (Verve, 1996)


  1. ^ Kernfeld, Barry (2002). "akLaff, Pheeroan". In Barry Kernfeld (ed.). The new Grove dictionary of jazz, vol. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. pp. 22–23. ISBN 1561592846.
  2. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. p. 5. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
  3. ^ "About Pheeroan". Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  4. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Pheeroan akLaff: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  5. ^ "Iridium Jazz Club Presents Historic Jazz Concert Thursday & Friday October 26 & 27 The Cecil Taylor Trio Featuring Henry Grimes And Phreeroan akLaff". All about jazz. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2010-04-14.

External links[edit]