He was never the best timekeeper, but Sonny Greer was ideal for Duke Ellington’s Orchestra during 1924-1951, adding color and course to the tempo section. He fulfilled Ellington in 1919 when he was an associate from the Howard Theatre’s orchestra in Washington, D.C. Greer stopped at NY for the very first time with Elmer Snowden and was a genuine person in Ellington’s Washingtonians, that was a five-piece group at its begin. Greer’s playing grew using the music group, and his huge array of noises (utilizing a drum established that included a gong, chimes, timpani, and vibes) put into the Ellington band’s “jungle audio.” He was using the orchestra until 1951 when, following a few quarrels with Ellington over his consuming and raising unreliability, Greer still left to become listed on Johnny Hodges’ brand-new group. He afterwards worked with Crimson Allen, Tyree Glenn, and J.C. Higginbottham; in 1967 led his very own music group; and used Brooks Kerr’s trio in the 1970s.
|1||Had a reputation as a "smooth-talking, sharp-dressing pool hustler".|
|2||Long-standing member of Duke Ellington's Orchestra from the early 1920's. Asked to leave the band in 1951 because of his inability to control his alcohol addiction.|
|3||Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 337-339. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.|
|Adventures in Jazz||1949||TV Series|
|Check and Double Check||1930||Member, Cotton Club Orchestra (uncredited)|
|Paris Blues||1961||musician - uncredited|
|Check and Double Check||1930||musician: drums - uncredited|
|Jazz Party||1958||TV Series performer - 1 episode|
|Jazz Party||1958||TV Series||Himself - Drummer|
|Jam Session||1942||Short||Himself - Drums|
|A Great Day in Harlem||1994||Documentary||Himself (uncredited)|
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