Although he used a many first-rate leaders during the period of his career, Woodyard is most closely connected with Duke Ellington. And rightfully therefore; one has simply to pay attention to the Ellington Orchestra’s famous overall performance of “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” from your 1956 Ellington at Newport recording to understand how essential Woodyard became towards the famous composer’s later function. Woodyard wasn’t a flashy participant, but few swung harder; he drove the Ellington music group like no additional drummer within the band’s storied background. Musically, Woodyard was mainly self-taught. Within the ’40s, he used local groups around his hometown of Newark. He performed in Paul Gayten’s R&B group around 1950. In the first ’50s, ahead of becoming a member of Ellington, Woodyard used tenor saxophonist Joe Vacation, trumpeter Roy Eldridge, and pianist Milt Buckner. His tenure with Ellington started in 1955; it lasted (with several interruptions) until 1966. Then became a member of Ella Fitzgerald’s music group and relocated to LA. His wellness failed through the ’70s and his playing actions dropped, although he do perform, especially on congas using the Friend High Big Band on such albums as Roar of ’74 and Simplicity on Later on. In the past due ’70s, Woodyard toured with pianist Claude Bolling. In 1983, he documented with an all-star music group that included pianist Teddy Wilson, tenor saxophonist Friend Tate, and bassist Slam Stewart. In July 1988, after that surviving in Paris, Woodyard performed on Steve Lacy’s recording THE ENTRANCEWAY. He died simply over per month later.