Remembering Mickey Roker

September 3, 1932 – May 22, 2017

Paying tribute to a masterful drummer

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Mickey Roker (1932-2017) was a very reliable and consistently swinging drummer.

He grew up in Philadelphia and by the early 1950s was playing professionally.

Roker worked steadily in Philly throughout the 1950s, moving to New York in 1959 where he performed with the who’s who of jazz for many decades.

Among the countless number of musicians with whom Roker worked were Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Bryant, Joe Williams, Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Ella Fitzgerald, Zoot Sims, Horace Silver, Sarah Vaughan, Milt Jackson, Phil Woods, Oscar Peterson, Stanley Turrentine and Tommy Flanagan.

“Billy Boy” features Mickey Roker performing in typically swinging fashion with pianist Hank Jones and bassist George Mraz in Tokyo on July 14, 1987.


Mickey Roker, drums
Hank Jones, piano
George Mraz, bass

– Scott Yanow


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