Mickey Roker : 1ère Partie / 2ème Partie / 3ème Partie

“That was my gift, that was the gigft that God gave me, to be able to get a groove and to hold on to it, you know what i mean? […] to get a groove, to horld on an build on it”

Mickey Roker, Interview par Jack Feinberg, février 2011

 

Les historiens – enfin ceux qui parlent du jazz, qui rééditent les disques, qui écrivent des dictionnaires, des articles, etc. – ne citent pas souvent Mickey Roker parmi les grands musiciens. Peut-être parce qu’il n’a jamais dirigé de groupe à son nom? Ou peut-être que pousser les meilleurs à donner le meilleur d’eux-mêmes n’est pas une oeuvre suffisante? Ou que mettre des mots sur le feeling d’un batteur est plus ardu que décortiquer les voicings d’un pianiste?

Dizzy Gillespie a dit de lui que “lorsqu’il commence un groove, quel qu’il soit, vous pouvez aller à Paris et revenir et il sera toujours là, vous avez pas à vous en faire”*. Et en effet, son swing est surpuissant, plus fidèle à la tradition de la batterie jazz que porté vers les complexités et les ruptures de certains de ses contemporains. Sa complexité se situe davantage à un niveau microscopique : il sait donner un détail et une couleurs incroyables à sa cymbale. Il manie les balais à la perfection. Il a un son énorme à un volume assez rarement élevé.

Mickey Roker ne semble pas s’être aventuré hors du jazz, contrairement à nombre de ses collègues qui ont cachetonné ailleurs, mais apporte à ses contributions un élément qui doit sans doute à ses origines caribéennes.

“dynamically you got to color your music up. That’s how you color your music up by swelling, like the ocean. You know how the ocean is.” Mickey Roker, Interview par Ethan Iverson, octobre 2011

Granville William « Mickey » Roker naît à Miami en 1932 d’une famille originaire de Nassau. Son enfance est rythmée par les fanfares et leurs influences caribéennes qui parcourent la ville durant les carnavals. Orphelin à dix ans, sa grand-mère l’emmène vivre à Philadelphie avec son oncle Walter qui lui offrira une batterie et transmettra son amour du jazz. Il fait ses débuts sur la scène de Philadelphie avec un groupe nommé The High Five et rencontres bientôt les meilleurs musiciens de la région : les batteurs Specs Wright et Philly Joe Jones, qui auront une grande influence sur lui, Bob Cranshaw, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Oliver, Sam Reed, Lee Morgan, les frères Heath, Milt Jackson. C’est ce dernier qui pousse Roker à s’installer New York. C’est là qu’il réalise l’un de ses premiers enregistrements avec le saxophoniste Gigi Gryce .

*“once he sets a groove, whatever it is, you can go to Paris and come back and it’s right there. You never have to worry about it” (Dizzy Gillespie, cité par Feather, Leonard and Gitler, Ira (1999) The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, p. 356. Oxford University Press at Google Books. Retrieved 1 May 2013.)

 


 

Mickey Roker à propos de Miami et de ses origines caribéennes :

All About Jazz: What are your memories of those first 10 years as a kid in Florida?

Mickey Roker: Well, Miami was the place where I first heard the drums. I was a young cat. We lived in a housing project and I slept on the couch on the first floor. And many of the folks, like my father, were first generation from Nassau in the Bahamas. So every New Years Eve, they would come around playing calypso and playing the drums. I was only 3 or 4 years old, and it frightened me! So, the next year I stayed up waiting for them, and that was the first music I heard—calypso music. Then, I would get a drum every year for Christmas, and I’d tear it up the first day I had it. So one year my mother got me a drum made of tin, and I kept that one all year, and that’s how I got my stuff together. So the following year, I got a real drum for Christmas. Going past my house were bands playing on their way to a funeral, playing slow, somber rhythms. But on the way back, they’d be playing things like « When the Saints Go Marching In, » and the drummer would wait for me to walk along with him, and I felt like I died and went to heaven.

AAJ: That marching band reminds me of the origins of jazz in New Orleans over a century ago.

MR: It’s the same thing—it’s everywhere.

Mickey Rocker, interview par Victor L. Schermer, All About Jazz

 

Les trois voeux de Mickey Roker
1. La santé, d’abord… Je sais que ça ne peut pas être inutile…
2. Musique… encore apprendre… Je ne sais pas ce que je veux d’autre, en fait, parce que si je pouvais avoir ces deux-là, ça serait cool… ça suffirait

Pannonica de Koenigswarter, Les musiciens de jazz et leurs trois voeux, Buchet-Chastel, 2006, traduction, Florence Hertz (Traduction) – Beau livre (broché)


 

Gigi Gryce Quintet ‎- Summertime

001_Gigi Gryce Quintet_The Hap'nin's2

Gigi Gryce Quintet ‎- The Hap’nin’s
New Jazz ‎- NJLP 8246, 1960
Tracklist
A1 Frankie And Johnny
A2 Lover Man
A3 Minority
B1 Summertime
B2 Nica’s Tempo
B3 Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
Credits
Alto Saxophone – Gigi Gryce
Bass – Julian Euell
Cover – Esmond Edwards
Drums – Granville « Mickey » Roker
Liner Notes – Joe Goldberg
Piano – Richard Wyands
Recorded By – Rudy Van Gelder
Trumpet – Richard Williams
Notes
Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ; May 3, 1960.
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Matrix / Runout (Side A): RVG NJLP-8246-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): RVG NJLP-8246-B

 

 

 


 

Gigi Gryce – Back Breaker

002_Gryce Quintet_Sayin' Something

Gigi Gryce Quintet ‎- Sayin’ Something (Prestige ‎- UCCO-5377, 1960)
Tracklist
1 Back Breaker
2 Leila’s Blues
3 Blues In The Jungle
4 Down Home
5 Let Me Know
6 Jones Bones
Credits
Alto Saxophone – Gigi Gryce
Bass – Reggie Workman – Composed By – Curtis Fuller (tracks: 4), Gigi Gryce (tracks: 1 to 3), Hank Jones (tracks: 5, 6)
Drums – Mickey Roker
Piano – Richard Wyands
Trumpet – Richard Williams
Recorded By – Rudy Van Gelder
Supervised By [Original Session] – Esmond Edwards
Supervised By [Series Supervised By] – Ira Gitler, Michael Cuscuna
Notes
Recorded March 11, 1960

 

 

 


 

Ray Bryant Trio ‎- Con Alma
Columbia ‎- CL-1633, 1961

Un des excellents albums en trio de Ray Bryant. Mickey Roker à la batterie avec alternativement Bill Lee ou Arthur Harper à la contrebasse.

Ray Bryant Trio ‎- Con Alma

Incroyable jeu de balais sur Milestones. Un son de trio qui rappelle celui d’Ahmad Jamal, et une utilisation des balais qui pourrait rappeler celle de Vernell Fournier, dont Mickey Roker parle ici :

“I almost always pat the bass drum because that’s the bottom of the drums. I’m from the old school. We used to play with no bass player and you had to pat the bass drum. I am so used to that. Sometimes I get too rambunctious with it but I don’t want to sound like Papa Joe Jones. That’s why I like cats like Vernel Fournier. Nobody played that bass drum like that guy, you can hear it all the time. Some drummers tune their bass drum at too high a pitch and you can hear it but it gets on your nerves. But if it is down and damp, it don’t get in the way of the bass player.”

Mickey Roker, Interview par Ethan Iverson, octobre 2011

Sur Milestones, Arthur Harper à la basse, contrebassiste méconnu, mais qui fait assurément partie des plus grands.

Mickey Roker : “The bassist and drummer are supposed to « lock up. » The two of us are « the rock. »
All About Jazz : Which bassists did you have the most rapport with?
MR: Lots of cats. I would lock up good with Ray Brown, with Sam Jones, Ron Carter, Arthur Harper. Arthur Harper was my favorite, because he could solo. Man, that guy could solo.”

Mickey Rocker, interview par Victor L. Schermer, All About Jazz

 

Ray Bryant Trio – Milestones

003_Ray Bryant Trio_Con Alma

Ray Bryant Trio ‎- Con Alma (Columbia ‎- CL-1633, 1961)
Tracklist
A1 Con Alma 6:55
A2 Milestones 4:10
A3 Ill Wind 3:12
A4 Nuts And Bolts 3:05
B1 Cubano Chant 4:23
B2 ‘Round Midnight 3:52
B3 Autumn Leaves 5:21
B4 C Jam Blues 4:25
Credits
Bass – Arthur Harper (tracks: A2), Bill Lee (tracks: A1, A3 to B4)
Drums – Mickey Roker
Liner Notes – Frank Driggs
Photography By – Don Hunstein
Piano – Ray Bryant
Notes
Recorded in New York City on December 5 and 7, 1960.
Columbia Red/Black « 6-Eye » Label. Deep-groove pressing.
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Matrix / Runout (Stamper / Etching A): XLP52893-1F AM
Matrix / Runout (Stamper B): XLP52894-1J

L’album entier est incroyable de swing

Ray Bryant Trio – Autumn Leaves

 


 

Junior Mance Trio ‎- Junior’s Blues
Riverside Records ‎- RS 9447, 1962

Un autre très grand trio : Junior Mance/Bob Cranshaw,/Mickey Roker
Un album baigné du groove du gospel. Aujourd’hui encore, Mickey Roker joue à l’Eglise.

Mickey Roker: I play at my church, too. Every Sunday morning, I play for the choir. And that’s a challenge that takes me back to my roots. I love it.

All About Jazz: All of jazz is rooted in gospel music.

MR: Yeah. That’s the rock, that’s how it started. You should never lose that feeling—I don’t care what you play. It’s that feeling of the blues because the blues comes from the gospel. »

Mickey Rocker, interview par Victor L. Schermer, All About Jazz

 

Comme le dit si bien Michael G. Nastos sur Allmusic “Roker’s intricate brush work personifying cool.”

Junior Mance Trio – The Jumpin’ Blues

004_Junior Mance Trio Junior's Blues

Junior Mance Trio ‎- Junior’s Blues
Riverside Records ‎- RS 9447, 1962
Tracklist
A1 Down The Line 4:58
A2 Creole Love Call 3:19
A3 Rainy Mornin’ Blues 4:00
A4 Yancey Special 3:01
A5 Gravy Waltz 3:15
B1 Cracklin’ 4:32
B2 In The Evening 3:47
B3 Blue Monk 6:28
B4 Jumpin’ The Blues 5:24
Credits
Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Design [Album] – Ken Deardoff
Drums – Mickey Roker
Engineer [Recording] – Ray Fowler
Liner Notes – Dan Morgenstern
Piano – Junior Mance
Producer – Orrin Keepnews
Notes
Recorded February 14, 1962 NYC
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Rights Society (On Label A / B): JASRAC

 

 


 

Le trio de Junior Mance + Kenny Burrell qui accompagnent une chanteuse Billie Poole.

Tambourin booty shaker

Billie Poole with the Junior Mance Trio- Them blues

Billie Poole With Junior Mance Trio- Confessin' The Blues Images

Billie Poole With The Junior Mance Trio And Kenny Burrell ‎- Confessin’ The Blues (Riverside Records ‎- RM 458, 1963)
Tracklist
A1 Confessin’ The Blues
A2 Them Blues
A3 God Bless The Child
A4 I Don’t Worry ‘Bout You
A5 Jailhouse Blues
A6 Stormy Weather
B1 The Man That Got Away
B2 Keep Your Hand On Your Heart
B3 Ain’t That Love
B4 Alone Together
B5 When Your Well Runs Dry
B6 Stormy Mondy Blues
Credits
Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Design – Ken Deardoff
Drums – Mickey Roker
Engineer – Ray Fowler
Guitar – Kenny Burrell
Piano – Junior Mance
Producer – Orrin Keepnews
Vocals – Billie Poole
Notes
Blue label with silver print and « reel & microphone » logo.

 


 

… même formation (trio de Junior Mance), avec un autre soliste : Nat Adderley

Nat Adderley – Foo Foo

006_Nat Adderley_Little Big Horn

Nat Adderley ‎- Little Big Horn! (Riverside Records ‎- RM 474, 1963)
Tracklist
A1 El Chico 6:41
A2 Foo Foo 4:12
A3 Loneliness 4:15
A4 Little Big Horn 5:19
B1 Half-Time 4:47
B2 Broadway Lady 4:17
B3 Roses For Your Pillow 5:08
B4 Hustle With Russell 4:19
Credits
Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Cornet – Nat Adderley
Drums – Mickey Roker
Guitar – Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell
Piano – Junior Mance
Notes
All selections composed by Nat Adderley (except Half-Time, By Julian and Nat Adderley) published by Dillard Music (BMI)

 

 


 

Avant ce concert à Newport, McCoy Tyner n’avait jamais joué avec trois des msuciens : Clark Terry, Charlie Mariano, Bob Cranshaw.
Deux d’entre eux avaient emprunté leurs instruments.
Mais la musique est pffiooo.
Tous deux Originaires de Philadelphie, Mickey Roker et McCoy Tyner se connaissent déjà depuis un moment lors de ce concerts.

McCoy Tyner Live at Newport – Newport Romp

007_McCoy at Newport

McCoy Tyner ‎- Live At Newport (Impulse! ‎- AS-48, 1963)
Tracklist
A1 Newport Romp 7:38
A2 My Funny Valentine 7:58
A3 All Of You 6:20
B1 Monk’s Blues 6:50
B2 Woody’n You 8:55
Credits
Alto Saxophone – Charlie Mariano (tracks: A1, A2, B2)
Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Drums – Mickey Roker
Engineer – Mickey Crofford
Piano – McCoy Tyner
Producer – Bob Thiele
Trumpet – Clark Terry (tracks: A1, A2, B2)

 

 

 

 

 


 

Shirley Scott & Clark Terry ‎- Soul Duo

007bis_Shirley Scott & Clark Terry - Soul Duo - 1966

Shirley Scott & Clark Terry ‎- Soul Duo (Impulse! ‎- AS-9133, 1967)
Tracklist
A1 Soul Duo 5:45
A2 Until I Met You (Corner Pocket) 5:40
A3 This Light Of Mine 3:30
A4 Joonji 3:51
A5 Clark Bars 4:10
A6 Taj Mahal 4:00
A7 Up A Hair 4:59
A8 Heat Wave 4:27
Credits
Bass – Bob Cranshaw, George Duvivier
Drums – Mickey Roker
Engineer – Bob Simpson
Organ – Shirley Scott
Producer – Bob Thiele
Trumpet – Clark Terry

 

 

 

 

 


 

Charles Kynard – The Soul Brotherhood

007ter_Charles Kynard - The Soul Brotherhood

Charles Kynard ‎- The Soul Brotherhood (Prestige ‎- PRST 7630, 1969)
Tracklist
A1 The Soul Brotherhood 6:06
A2 Big City 7:22
A3 Jealjon 7:40
B1 Piece O’ Pisces 10:00
B2 Blue Farouq 8:55
Credits
Arranged By – Richard Fritz
Bass [Fender] – Jimmy Lewis
Drums – Mickey Roker
Guitar – Grant Green
Organ – Charles Kynard
Producer – Bob Porter
Tenor Saxophone – David « Fathead » Newman
Trumpet – Blue Mitchell
Notes
Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ; March 10, 1969.

 

 

 

 


 

Mickey Roker avec Sonny Rollins

Du jazz caribéen? peut-être pas tout à fait. Mais la famille de Rollins vient des Îles Vierges, celle de Roker vient de Nassau, et ça s’entend.

AAJ: Do you feel as if you still have some of that Caribbean influence?

MR: Oh, yeah! Of course, you never lose your blues—hey, hey!
Mickey Rocker, interview par Victor L. Schermer, All About Jazz

Allo la planète? Existe-t-il une version de Saint Thomas avec Mickey Roker?

Bob Cranshaw en prime, un grand ami de Mickey Roker. Dans son interview avec Ethan Iverson, Mickey Roker parle de Bob Cranshaw, de leur grande amitié et complicité musicale. Il explique que McCoy Tyner était venu le voir après le départ d’Elvin Jones, mais qu’il avait préféré rejoindre le groupe de Sonny Rollins car le bassiste était Bob Cranshaw.

008_The Standard Sonny

Sonny Rollins & Co. ‎- The Standard Sonny Rollins (RCA Victor ‎- LSP-3355, 1965)
Tracklist
A1 Autumn Nocturne 2:58
A2 Night And Day 3:07
A3 Love Letters 3:25
A4 My One And Only Love 5:58
A5 Three Little Words 2:14
B1 Trav’lin’ Light 4:07
B2 I’ll Be Seeing You 1:35
B3 My Ship 4:10
B4 It Could Happen To You 4:17
B5 Long Ago (And Far Away) 2:47
Credits
Bass – Bob Cranshaw (tracks: 1 to 5, 7 to 10)
Bass [Arco] – David Izenzon (tracks: 6)
Bass [Pizzicato] – Teddy Smith (tracks: 6)
Drums – Mickey Roker (tracks: 1 to 5, 7 to 10), Stu Martin (tracks: 6)
Guitar – Jim Hall (tracks: 3, 6, 8, 10)
Piano – Herbie Hancock (tracks: 4, 6, 9)
Producer – George Avakian
Tenor Saxophone – Sonny Rollins
Notes
Recorded in New York City
#6 : June 11, 1964
#7 : June 23, 1964
#2-5-8 : June 24, 1964
#3-10 : June 26, 1964
#2 : July 2, 1964
#1 : July 9, 1964

Sonny Rollins – Three Little Words

 

Même morceau, même batteur, même saxophoniste, même (encore plus grande) folie.

Ethan Iverson : “I want to talk to you about the ride cymbal beat you are playing on this track, « Three Little Words.”

Mickey Roker: “I just play the cymbal beat but I turn it around sometimes to keep it interesting.”

Sonny Rollins Quartet – Three Little Words

 

Sonny Rollins – Hold ‘Em Joe

009_Sonny-Rollins-On-Impulse-532555

Sonny Rollins ‎- On Impulse! (Impulse! ‎- AS-91, 1965)
Tracklist
A1 On Green Dolphin Street 7:05
A2 Eveything Happens To Me 11:10
B1 Hold ‘Em Joe 5:26
B2 Blue Room 3:41
B3 Three Little Words 6:55
Credits
Bass – Walter Booker
Drums – Mickey Roker
Engineer – Rudy Van Gelder
Piano – Ray Bryant
Producer – Bob Thiele
Tenor Saxophone – Sonny Rollins
Notes
Recorded 8 July, 1965 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

 

 

 

 

 


 

Sonny Rollins et Mickey Rocker, 22 ans plus tard, en compagnie de Dizzy Gillesie, Hank Jones et Rufus Reid.
Sonny Rollins est possédé, la rythmique est furieuse.

Dizzy Gillespie & Sonny Rollins: Ricky Hor

 

Mickey Roker : 1ère Partie / 2ème Partie / 3ème Partie