Pheeroan aklaff is a Detroit born drum-set doyen who emerged amid a cadre of New York based composers and improvisors. Mentored by Travis Biggs, Richard "Pistol" Allen, Randall Hicks, Dwight Andrews, Robert Ferris Thompson, Rashied Ali, and Billy Hart, he made his first New York performances with Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Anthony Davis, Henry Threadgill, and Amina Claudine Myers.

His residencies and performances in Africa, Asia and South America have forged his aesthetic. In 1981 he worked with Marie Rose Guiraud in Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire, and met with Frank Fairfax III, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and Steve Rhodes in Lagos Nigeria. He performed and tutored in State Department tours of Africa and Asia with Oliver Lake in 1982, and with Jay Hoggard in 1985.

House of Spirit Mirth, Fits Like A Glove, Sonogram, Brooklyn Waters, and Global Mantras feature his compositions. Pheeroan is known for his percussion accompaniment with Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill, Yamashita Yosuke, Tom Pierson, Dewey Redman, Reggie Workman, Sonny Sharrock and many elders and peers.  Music related neuroscience research, and civic enrichment through the arts in Montclair, NJ. keep him cooking. A new CD with violinist Aska Maret (Kaneko) is forthcoming

"He is fastidious, a percussive perfectionist who plays with crisp, pinpoint definition and always goes for the groove.” Robert Palmer N.Y. Times"


Ensemble Leader Recordings

Live at Yahagi - Modern Masters 2018
The Willisau Concert - Modern Masters 2014
Live in Japan Volume One - Modern Masters 2012
Brooklyn Waters -2000 - Michael Cain, Florian Feuser
Global Mantras, - Modern Masters - 1997
Sonogram - Mu 1989
Fits Like A Glove - Gramavision 1983

Solo Recordings
Drumßet Variations - Modern Masters 2010
Drumset Variations - Mu 2001

House of Spirit; Mirth-1981 Passin’ Thru Re-released in 2011 by Souljazz
Duo Recordings

Untitled - with Wadada Leo Smith 2020 
Brooklyn Waters, 1999, with Michael Cain
Revolutionary Quill, 2003, with Anthony Braxton
Selected Recordings as Accompanist
Geri Allen:
• Maroons (Blue Note, 1992) Ray Anderson:
• What Because (Gramavision, 1989) Anthony Braxton:
• The Charlie Parker Project ( Braxton House 2017) Live Piano Quartet (Leo, 1995) 
• Seven Standards (Knitting Factory, 1995) Don Byron:
• New Gospel Quintet, (Verve 2010) Tuskegee Experiments (Elektra/Nonesuch, 
• Bug Music (Nonesuch, 1990) Baikida Carroll:
• Shadows and Reflections (Soul Note, 1982)
• Door of the Cage (Soul Note, 1995) Dorothy Cowfield - No Broken Dreams (Street Meeting 2008), Cows in the Sky (Street Meeting 2004), I'm A Cowgirl ( Street Meeting 2000), Anthony Davis:
• Of Blues and Dreams (Sackville, 1978)
• Hidden Voices (India Navigation, 1979)
• Episteme (Gramavision, 1981)
• Hemispheres (Gramavision, 1983)
• Ghost Factory (Gramavision, 1987)
• X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X 
 (Gramavision, 1992)
• The Enemy of Light, Marty Ehrlich:
• The Welcome (Sound Aspects, 1984) Fool Proof:
• No Friction(Mesa Blue Moon, 1988) Craig Harris:
• Shelter (JMT, 1986) Jerome Harris:
• Algorithms (Minor Music, 1986) Jay Hoggard:
• Love Survives (Gramavision, 1983)
• Riverside Dance (India Navigation, 1984)
• Love is the Answer (Muse, 1994) Michael Gregory Jackson:
• Gifts (Arista/Novus, 1979)
• Heart and Center (Arista/Novus, 1979) Oliver Lake:
• Holding Together (Black Saint, 1976)
• Life Dance of Is (Jive/Novus, 1978)
• Shine (Jive/Novus, 1978)
• The Prophet (Black Saint, 1981)
• Clevont Fitzhubert (Black Saint, 1981)
• Jump Up(Gramavision, 1981)
• Plug It (Gramavision, 1982)
• Compilation (Rhino, 1982)
• Expandable Language (Black Saint, 1984)
• Gallery (Gramavision, 1986)
• Impala (Mesa Blue Moon, 1988)
• Again and Again (Gramavision, 1991)
• Virtual Reality: Total Escapism (Gazell, 1991)
• Live at Willisau (Hat Art, 1995) Amina ClaudineMyers:
• Song for Mother Earth (Leo, 1979) David Murray:
Karmen Gei • Quartet Live at the Village Vanguard, Yonn De New Air:
• Live at the Montreux International Jazz Festival (Black Saint, 1983)
• Air Show No. 1 (Black Saint, 1986) James Newton:
• African Flower (Blue Note, 1985)
• Romance and Revolution (Blue Note, 1986) Charles Papasoff:
• Papasoff (Red Toucan, 1993) Tom Pierson:
• Last Works, The Hidden Goddess, Left Right, Planet of Tears , (Auteur ) Rob Reddy:
• Post-War Euphoria, Songs You Can Trust (Songlines, 1996) Michelle Rosewoman:
• The Source (Soul Note, 1984) Sonny Sharrock:
• Seize the Rainbow (Enemy, 1987)
• Live in New York (Enemy, 1989)
• Into Another Light (Enemy, 1996) Fred Simmons:
• Going Forth (1996) Wadada Leo Smith:
• Rosa Parks, The National Parks Suite ( Cuneiform 2016) Ten Freedom Summer (Cuneiform 2012) Spiritual Dimensions ( Cuneiform 2010)  Hearts Reflection (Cuneiform 2009)  Song of Humility (KaBel, 1977)
• Spirit Catcher (Nessa, 1980) Liu Sola
• Haunts (Also 1998) Live in Beijing (Also 1999) Apparitions (Also 2000) Paul Sullivan:
• Visit to the Rockies (River Music, 1987) Henry Threadgill:
• When Was That? (About Time, 1982)
• Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket 
 (About Time, 1983)
• Subject to Change (About Time, 1984)
• You Know the Number (Jive/Novus, 1986)
• Easily Slip Into Another World 
 (Jive/Novus, 1987)
• Makin’ a Move (Sony, 1995) Mal Waldron:
• My Dear Family (Evidence/Alfa, 1993) Carlos Ward:
• Live at The Bug
• Faces, Gunther Wehinger
• Cry Flute, (Pao 1995) As Promised (Pao1992) Reggie Workman:
• Summit Conference (Postcards, 1994) Yosuke Yamashita:
 30 Light Years Floating ( Verve 2018), Grandioso, (Verve 2015) Delightful Contrasts, (Verve 2011) Triple Cats, (Verve 2008) Winds of the Ages
• (Verve 2006) Field Of Grooves (Verve 2005), Pacific Crossing (Verve  2004) • Ways Of Time (Verve 2003) • Canvas in Vigor
• (Polygram,2000) Dazzling Days (Polygram, 1994)
• Spider 
•(Verve 1996)  Dazzling Days (Verve 1993)
 Kurdish Dance (Antilles, 1992) 
Sakura Live
 ( Antilles 1991) •Plays Gershwin
• (Verve 1990)Sakura (Antilles 1989)•Crescendo (Kitty 1988)

Print Articles on Pheeroan akLaff                                                                                                                                                                                                   

New York City Jazz Record Anders Griffin interview May 2018

Baristanet Montclair 2017

Musica Jazz (Italy) Giuseppi Segala interview Spring 2013
Musicworks (Canada) Stuart Broomer feature/interview January 2013
Slagwerk Magazine (Holland) Hugo Pinksterboer interview January 2012
Jazz Magazine (Spain) Jorge Lopez Gereñu interview Autumn 2010
Hot House Magazine cover article by Paul Blair April 2004
Coda Magazine (Canada) cover article by Jerry D'Souza July/August 1997
Signature Magazine Japan, Dr. Tekemura interview April 1996
The Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Jordan interview, January 1996
Modern Drummer, Noah Howard interview 12/95,
Drums Magazine Japan, Interview 1991
Marie Claire Japan, CD review 1990,Jazz Podium, Germany 1989
Musician Magazine Ted Drozdowski interview June 1989
RYTMI Magazine Finland #9-10 interview November1987
Modern Drummer, Chip Stern interview May 1984
Midday Times Bombay, India interview January 1984
Coda Magazine (Canada) #186 interview January 1982
Ivoire Dimanche Magazine Ivory Coast#537 J.S. Bakiono interview June 1981
Ophelia Magazine Nigeria Volume 2 Frank Fairfax interview January 1981