Desert Island Jazz
Roy McCurdy (2012)
At 75, Roy McCurdy still has the physique that would be the envy of drummers half his age.

Roy has been playing drums for over six decades. Growing up in Rochester, New York, he attended the Eastman School of Music while still a teenager, by which time he'd already played professionally with the likes of Roy Eldridge and Cleanhead Vinson. (Roy reports that his father had had to take him to the gigs—not just because he was too young for entry to the clubs, but because he was also too young to drive.)

In the early 60s, Roy played with quite a number of name bands for a year here and a year there: the Jazz Brothers band of fellow-Rochester residents Gap and Chuck Mangione; the Art Farmer-Benny Golson Jazztet; Bobby Timmons; the university of Betty Carter; and for a relatively long two years with Sonny Rollins (he appears on the classic "Sonny Meets Hawk").

Then Roy left the music scene and returned to Rochester, taking a full-time job with Eastman Kodak. After a year or so, he had no plans to return to music until, out of the blue, he received a call from Cannonball Adderley inviting him to join his quintet. Roy handed in his notice, boarded a flight to join the Adderleys in Atlantic City, and was on the stage without rehearsal.

For Roy, the era of a year here, a year there were over, replaced by the era of decades. He remained with the Adderleys for a decade, until Cannonball's death in 1975, and subsequently he toured and recorded with Nancy Wilson for 30 years.

In his "spare time", Roy is an Adjunct Professor in the Jazz Studies Department of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Horace Silver Cape Verdean Blues The African Queen Blue Note
# 2 Cannonball Adderley Somethin' Else Somethin' Else Blue Note
# 3 Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins Sonny Meets Hawk Just Friends RCA
# 4 Nancy Wilson Turned to Blue These Golden Years MCG Jazz
# 5 Cannonball Adderley Phenix Domination Fantasy
# 6 Janis Mann Blow Away Never Let Me Go Pancake Records
# 7 Herbie Hancock Inventions and Dimensions A Jump Ahead Blue Note
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