Derf Reklaw

Real name: Fred Walker Derf Reklaw, one of The Pharoahs’ original members, is a composer, choreographer and lecturer as well as a singer, vocalist, inventor, and musician. Reklaw moved from Chicago to LA in 1979. Reklaw is currently an artist-in-residence at several educational institutions, including UCLA, Santa monica College and LA Conservatory. His music career has allowed him to perform with such artists as Aretha Franklin and Eddie Harris, Minnie Ripperton (Arab Jamal), Sting, Sting, and Lionel Hampton. The latest album includes guest spots by Billy Higgins, Kamau Daaood, and an original member of Pharoahs Lui Lui Satterfield. From discogs Derfreklaw (hmm… wonder what his birth name might be?) He is a percussionist that straddles hard and free jazz as well as world music. All three of these genres were heavily influenced by 1998’s From the Nile. These ten songs are more than just another African-influenced jazz record to be played in the background of chic boutiques. They are challenging, forceful music with African and Haitian elements that serve as the building blocks of the songs. Reklaw, along with four other drummers, create the songs using complicated polyrhythms. The only musical accompaniment is a small trumpet, a guitar (mostly in the rhythmic Nigerian style) and a touch piano. Reklaw and other vocalists chant and declaim the lyrics in various languages, which gives the album an almost religious, incantatory feel. Although From the Nile is only for fans of world music, it’s far better than some of the diluted polyglot pop that passes as world music. Allmusic

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