Basic Background Info

Birth: November 28, 1936
Location: Rochester, New York
Band: Cannonball Adderley’s Quintet, Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Though Roy McCurdy's musical achievements are breathtakingly vast by anyone's standards, he is best recognized for his contribution to Cannonball Adderley's Quintet.

Roy McCurdy started playing drums as a child; he created makeshift drum sets when he was six years old. After two years banging around, Roy McCurdy took formal lessons. As a teenager, Roy studied at the Eastman School of Music during the day and played professionally in local clubs at night. During one of his sets, Roy McCurdy caught the ear of the famous trumpeter, Roy Eldridge. Eldridge invited McCurdy to sit in with him. Before long, Roy McCurdy teamed up with the likes of Eddie Vinson and Chuck and Gap Mangioneís Jazz Brothers.

In 1960, Roy McCurdy joined the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet and played with the group for two years. Later, Roy played with Bobby Timmons, Betty Carter, and Sonny Rollins. Roy McCurdy's immense prior experience at the drum seat helped him seamlessly blend into Cannonball Adderleyís Quintet in 1965, where the music constantly evolved with the cultural climate.

When Cannonball Adderley passed away in 1975, Roy McCurdy moved to the Los Angeles area where he quickly became a regular at live performances and recording studios. Roy McCurdy continued this path for more than twenty years and performed on more than 150 records, playing with musicians Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Joe Williams, Herbie Hancock, Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Art Pepper, John Heard, Ron McCurdy, Jackie Ryan, Joe Zawinal, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1942 Capitol 50th Anniversary Jazz Box Various Artists
1949 Masters of Jazz, Vol. 7: Jazz Hit Singles Various Artists
1957 Great Jazz Artists Play Compositions of Jerome Kern Various Artists
1957 Tenor Titan Sonny Rollins
1958 Great Jazz Artists Play Compositions Of Richard Roger Various Artists
1958 Jazz Profile Cannonball Adderley
1959 Modern Jazz Disciples Modern Jazz Disciples
1960 Complete Argo/Mercury Jazztet Sessions Art Farmer/Benny Golson
1960 Jazz Brothers Chuck Mangione
1960 Right Down Front Modern Jazz Disciples
1961 Hey Baby! Chuck & Gap Mangione
1961 Perception Art Farmer Quartet
1962 Alternatives Sonny Rollins
1962 Here and Now Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet
1962 Sweet and Soulful Sounds Bobby Timmons
1963 All the Things You Are Sonny Rollins
1963 Sonny Meets Hawk! Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins
1964 Inside Betty Carter Betty Carter
1964 Now's the Time Sonny Rollins
1964 Sonny Rollins & Co. 1964 Sonny Rollins & Company
1965 Inside Story Prince Lasha
1965 Rise & Fall of the Third Stream Joe Zawinul
1966 Cannonball in Japan Cannonball Adderley
1966 Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at 'The Club' Cannonball Adderley Quintet
1966 Money in the Pocket Joe Zawinul
1966 Sayin' Somethin' Nat Adderley
1967 Milestone Years Joe Henderson
1967 Radio Nights Cannonball Adderley
1967 Why Am I Treated So Bad! Cannonball Adderley
1967 Zing! Monty Alexander
1968 Scavenger Nat Adderley
1969 Country Preacher "Live" at Operation Breadbasket Cannonball Adderley Quartet
1970 Concerto Retitled Joe Zawinul
1972 Black Messiah Cannonball Adderley
1972 Golden Years Count Basie
1972 Music You All Cannonball Adderley
1973 Brasswind Gene Ammons
1973 Inside Straight Cannonball Adderley Quintet
1973 Joe Williams Live Joe Williams
1974 Concord Jazz Heritage Series Scott Hamilton
1974 Double Exposure Nat Adderley
1974 Pyramid Cannonball Adderley
1975 Big Man Cannonball Adderley
1975 Inside Kenny Rankin
1975 Nucleus Sonny Rollins
1975 Phenix Cannonball Adderley
1976 Banquet in Blues John Mayall
1976 Kenny Rankin Album Kenny Rankin
1977 Brand New Day Blood, Sweat & Tears
1977 Concord Jazz Heritage Series Kenny Burrell
1978 Little New York Midtown Music Nat Adderley
1979 Duke Ellington Songbook, Vol. 2 Sarah Vaughan
1979 Flute Talk Sam Most
1979 Hollywood All-Star Sessions Art Pepper
1979 Moon and Sand Kenny Burrell
1980 After the Roses Kenny Rankin
1981 Bop for Kerouac Mark Murphy
1981 I Want a Little Girl Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
1981 Yes, the Blues Clark Terry
1982 Jazz at the Philharmonic (1983) Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis with Harry "Sweets" Edison
1983 Claude Reigns Claude Williamson
1983 Jackson, Johnson, Brown & Company Milt Jackson with J.J. Johnson and Ray B
1983 Lucky to Be Me Ruth Price
1983 Mostly Blues...and Some Others Count Basie w/ Kansas City Septet
1983 Yesterday, Today and Forever Shorty Rogers and Bud Shank
1984 Playboy Jazz Festival Various Artists
1986 Playing with Fire Bobby Shew
1988 Shieldstone Shieldstone
1989 Nancy Now! Nancy Wilson
1989 Scat Tones M' Bones The Cunninghams
1990 Atlantic Jazz: 12 Vol. Box Set Various Artists
1990 Bluebird Sampler 1990 Various Artists
1990 Jazzy Wonderland Various Artists
1991 Warm Cafe Thomas Talbert
1992 Fascinating Jazz Jim Dejulio
1992 Jazz 'Round Midnight: Trumpet Various Artists
1992 Legendary Lou Rawls Lou Rawls
1992 Mulege Day Feather
1992 Scott Hamilton With Strings Scott Hamilton
1992 Stolen...And Other Moments Mark Murphy
1992 Sweet Simon Conte Candoli
1993 Duke's Domain Tom Talbert
1994 Atlantic Jazz: Best of the '60s, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1994 In Concert (1969) Cannonball Adderley
1994 Love, Nancy Nancy Wilson
1994 Professional Dreamer Kenny Rankin
1994 Robinson & Owens Music Spike Robinson & Owens Music
1995 California Message Benny Golson
1995 Live on Planet Earth Nat Adderley Quintet
1995 Retrospective (1929-1963) Coleman Hawkins
1995 Songbook Benny Carter
1996 History of Chess Jazz Various Artists
1996 Lefty Leaps In John Leitham
1996 Out of the Past Art Farmer
1996 Peaceful: The Best of Kenny Rankin Kenny Rankin
1997 Billy Strayhorn Songbook Various Artists
1997 Jazz at Midnight Various Artists
1997 RCA Victor 80th Anniversary Various Artists
1997 Swingin' Jazz for Hipsters, Vol. 2 Various Artists
1998 Aluminum Forest Eldad Tarmu
1998 Blow! Jazz Trumpet Virtuosos Various Artists
1998 Blue Box, Vol. 2: Finest Jazz Vocalists Various Artists
1998 Drivin' On: The ABC Years (1975-1982) John Mayall
1998 Greatest Hits Sonny Rollins
1998 Jazz at Midnight, Vol. 2 Various Artists
1998 Jazz Singers 1919-1994 Various Artists
1998 Jazz Standards Mark Murphy
1998 Last Days of Jazz Various Artists
1998 Paris Jazz Concert 1969 Cannonball Adderley
1998 Portraiture, the Blues Period Michael Wolff
1998 Saxophone Anthology Various Artists
1998 Work Song: 1960-1969 Cannonball Adderley
1999 Blue Break Beats, Vol. 1-4 Various Artists
1999 For Heaven's Sake Pete Christlieb
1999 Masters of Jazz Sampler Various Artists
1999 Sayin' Somethin'/Live at Memory Lane Nat Adderley
1999 Which? Jackie Allen
2000 Axelrod Chronicles David Axelrod
2000 Ballad Essentials Scott Hamilton
2000 Best of the Complete RCA Victor Recordings Sonny Rollins
2000 Blow! Jazz Trumpet and Saxophone Viruosos Various Artists
2000 Haven't We Met? Ginger Berglund
2000 Incontournables Herbie Hancock
2000 Jamey Aebersold Jazz: Benny Golson Various Artists
2000 Jazz for Swingin Lovers Various Artists
2000 Ken Burns Jazz Coleman Hawkins
2000 Legacy Lives On The Legacy Band
2000 Notice to Appear/A Banquet in Blues John Mayall
2001 Big Wide Grin Keb' Mo'
2001 Disciples Blues Curtis Peagler & The Modern Jazz Disciples
2001 Head Jazz Various Artists
2001 Jazz Monterey: 1958-1980 Various Artists
2001 Nancy Wilson Christmas Nancy Wilson
2001 Pleyel: Live 3-27-69 Cannonball Adderley
2002 Art Standards Art Pepper/The Hollywood All-Stars
2002 Ballads Cannonball Adderley
2002 Definitive Cannonball Adderley Cannonball Adderley
2002 Milestone: Galaxy Sampler Various Artists
2002 Once Again for the First Time Ron McCurdy Quintet
2002 Stolen Moments: Tin Tin Deo/Moon and Sand Kenny Burrell
2003 Classic Jazz: Jazz Greats Various Artists
2003 Garden of Earthly Delights: The Best of Mark Winkler Mark Winkler
2003 Playboy Jazz After Dark Various Artists
2003 Sings Bobby Troup Mark Winkler
2003 This Heart of Mine Jackie Ryan With Special Guests Toots Thielemans and Ernie Watts
2003 Timeless Mark Murphy
2004 All That Jazz: But in Persian Minoo Javan
2004 Cannonball Plays Zawinul Cannonball Adderley
2004 Centennial Collection Coleman Hawkins
2004 Concord Jazz Sampler Vol.2 Various Artists
2004 L.A. After Dark Diane Witherspoon
2005 Big Picture Shapes
2005 Celebrating Sonny at 75/The Very Best of the RCA Years Sonny Rollins
2005 Domination Cannonball Adderley
2005 Edge David Axelrod
2005 Finesse/Magnificent Madness John Klemmer
2005 Four of Us: Live at Steamers Mort Weiss Quartet
2005 Hit the Rhodes, Jack Various Artists
2005 Luther Hughes & the Cannonball-Coltrane Project Luther Hughes
2006 Essential Herbie Hancock Herbie Hancock
2006 Forecast: Tomorrow Weather Report
2006 Great Sessions Cannonball Adderley
2006 Jazz Improv Companion CD, Vol. 7 No. 1: Blues Various Artists
2006 Legends & Lions: Swingin' Various Artists
2006 Mort Weiss Meets Sam Most Mort Weiss
2006 Playboy Cocktail Mix Various Artists
2006 These Days Ellen Johnson
2006 Turned to Blue Nancy Wilson
2007 Original Album Classics Sonny Rollins
2007 So Many Stars Jon Mayer
2008 4 Tet Thom Rotella
2008 Live in Italy 1969 Cannonball Adderley Quintet
2008 A Perfect Time Drummers and Other Friends Janis Mann
2008 Tokyo 1963 Sonny Rollins
2008 Plays Ray Reed Ray Reed
2008 Beautiful Memory: Live at the Vic Bill Henderson
2009 Nightscape Jon Mayer
2010 Heart & Soul Ben E. King
2011 The Rum Diary (Original Soundtrack) Christopher Young
2012 The Very Best of Cannonball Adderley Cannonball Adderley
2012 On the Road (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Gustavo Santaolalla
2012 Legends Live: Stuttgart 1969 Cannonball Adderley 
2013 Wrapped in Red Kelly Clarkson
2013 West Coast Cool Cheryl Bentyne
2013 Sophisticated Lady: The Duke Ellington Songbook Sarah Vaughan


  • Roy recently served as an Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Paiste 
Hardware: Drum Workshop

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