Roker, Mickey [Granville William ]
- Michael Fitzgerald
[Granville William ]
(b Miami, FL, Sept 3, 1932). American jazz drummer. Roker moved to Philadelphia at age ten and was introduced to music in school bands and local drum and bugle corps, in which he played by ear. Formal studies began at age 23, following service in the US Army from 1952 to 1955. He began playing jazz in Philadelphia with Sam Reed in 1956, worked with Jimmy Heath, Jimmy Oliver, and Johnny Coles, and met Kenny Barron, McCoy Tyner, and Reggie Workman in local jam sessions.
With the encouragement of Workman, Roker moved to New York in 1959, playing for two years and recording three albums with Gigi Gryce. His next long-term engagements were in the trios of Ray Bryant and Junior Mance. Preferring to stay in New York rather than travel, Roker joined Mary Lou Williams, working steadily at the Hickory House in the mid-1960s. Concurrently he collaborated with Duke Pearson in both a big band and small groups and appeared on numerous recordings for various labels, including Blue Note....