Before joining Cannonball Adderley's Quintet in 1965 and staying with the band until Adderley's death in 1975, he had played with Chuck and Gap Mangione in the Jazz Brothers (1960–1961), as well as with Bobby Timmons, Betty Carter and Sonny Rollins (1963–1964), appearing on the classic 1963 album Sonny Meets Hawk!.
He attended the Eastman School of Music from sixteen to eighteen, during which time he also played professionally with Roy Eldridge and with Eddie Vinson at seventeen. In 1960 he joined the Art Farmer - Benny Golson Jazztet and remained for two years.
He has also played and/or recorded with Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Joe Williams, Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Art Pepper, and the jazz rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears, etc.
He appears on the classic 1983 recording Jackson, Johnson, Brown & Company featuring Milt Jackson on vibes, J. J. Johnson on trombone, Ray Brown on bass, Tom Ranier on piano, and John Collins on guitar.
With Cannonball Adderley
- Money in the Pocket (Capitol, 1966 )
- Great Love Themes (Capitol, 1966)
- Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at 'The Club' (Capitol, 1966)
- Cannonball in Japan (Capitol, 1966)
- Radio Nights (Night, 1967-68 )
- 74 Miles Away (Capitol, 1967)
- Why Am I Treated So Bad! (Capitol, 1967)
- In Person (Capitol, 1968)
- Country Preacher (Capitol, 1969)
- The Cannonball Adderley Quintet & Orchestra (Capitol, 1970)
- Love, Sex, and the Zodiac (Fantasy, 1970 )
- The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free (Capitol, 1970)
- The Happy People (Capitol, 1970 )
- The Black Messiah (Capitol, 1970)
- Music You All (Capitol, 1970 )
- Inside Straight (Fantasy, 1973)
- Pyramid (Fantasy, 1974)
- Phenix (Fantasy, 1975)
With Nat Adderley
- Sayin' Somethin' (Atlantic, 1966)
- Live at Memory Lane (Atlantic, 1966)
- The Scavenger (Milestone, 1968)
- Soul Zodiac (Capitol, 1972)
- Soul of the Bible (Capitol, 1972)
- Double Exposure (Capitol, 1974)
With Gene Ammons
- Brasswind (Prestige, 1974)
With Count Basie
- Mostly Blues...and Some Others (Pablo, 1983)
With Betty Carter
- Inside Betty Carter (United Artists, 1964)
With Art Farmer
- Perception (Argo, 1961)
- Here and Now (Mercury, 1962) - with Benny Golson
- Another Git Together (Mercury, 1962) - with Benny Golson
With Sonny Rollins
With Bobby Timmons
- Sweet and Soulful Sounds (Riverside, 1963)
- With Betty Bennett
- The Song Is You (1990) with Bob Cooper, Mundell Lowe, George Cables, Monty Budwig and Roy McCurdy.
- arwulf arwulf at allmusic
- USC Thornton School of Music: Faculty Profiles: Roy McCurdy
- Interview: Betty Bennett (Part 2) JazzWax. Retrieved 10 June 2013.