Roy Porter (drummer)

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Roy Lee Porter (July 30, 1923, Walsenburg, Colorado – January 24[1] or 25,[2] 1998, Los Angeles) was an American jazz drummer.

Life and career[edit]

Porter moved from Walsenburg to Colorado Springs when he was eight years old and began playing drums in rhythm and blues bands while a teenager. He attended Wiley College in Texas briefly, where trumpeter Kenny Dorham was a fellow student. He joined Milt Larkin's band in 1943,[2] replacing Joe Marshall.[3]

After military service, Porter settled in Los Angeles, and his services were soon in demand by some of the pioneers of bebop. He worked with Teddy Bunn and Howard McGhee, making his first recordings with the latter. In 1946 he backed Charlie Parker on such Dial classics as "A Night In Tunisia", "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology" and the unfortunate recording of "Lover Man".[4]

Porter played on Los Angeles' Central Avenue with such leading bebop players as Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray and Teddy Edwards, and in San Francisco with Hampton Hawes and Sonny Criss. He organized and went on the road with a big band in 1949 that included Art Farmer, Jimmy Knepper and Eric Dolphy.[5]

During the 1950s Roy Porter was inactive as a jazz musician due to drug problems and returned to music only infrequently afterwards.


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index, retrieved 2011-11-15.
  2. ^ a b Roy Porter: 1923-1998: Flying - And Faltering - With Bird
  3. ^ Campbell, Robert L. and Leonard J. Bukowski, and Armin Büttner "The Tom Archia Discography". Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  4. ^ Scott Yanow, Roy Porter at Allmusic.
  5. ^ Porter, Roy, and David Keller, "There And Back", Continuum International Publishing Group, 1995, ISBN 978-1-871478-30-3.