Recording period between
b. 3 September 1932, Miami, Florida, USA. Raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Roker played drums with R&B bands but was attracted to jazz. He worked briefly with such visiting and local jazzmen as Jimmy Heath, Lee Morgan and McCoy Tyner and it was not until the end of the 50s that he went to New York. During the next few years he played in bands led by Gigi Gryce, Ray Bryant, Duke Pearson, Art Farmer, Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, Clifford Jordan and Morgan. He was for a while in the house band at Blue Note Records and played on many dates. In 1971 he began a long association with Dizzy Gillespie that lasted through the rest of the decade. Freelancing in the 80s has brought him into groups led by Oscar Peterson, Ray Bryant, Zoot Sims, Jackson and Ray Brown. A forceful, dynamic drummer, Roker’s style is rooted in swing but has the urgent attack of the best of the beboppers.