Steve Jordan (drummer)

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Steve Jordan
Jordan in 2006
Jordan in 2006
Background information
Born (1957-01-14) January 14, 1957 (age 65)
New York City, New York
GenresRock, pop, R&B
Occupation(s)Musician, producer, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, percussion, bass guitar
Years active1978–present
LabelsVirgin, JVC Victor

Steve Jordan (born January 14, 1957) is an American musical director, producer, songwriter, and musician. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a member of the bands for the television shows Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman.[1]

In the early 1980s, Jordan was a member of the band "Eye Witness", along with Anthony Jackson on bass, and Manolo Badrena on percussion. Since the mid 1980s, Jordan has also been a member of the X-Pensive Winos, the side project of Rolling Stones[2] guitarist Keith Richards. Jordan and Richards have been production and songwriting partners on many of Richards's solo works. In 2005, he became a member of the John Mayer Trio.[3] Jordan also formed the band "The Verbs", which he fronts, with his wife Meegan Voss.[4] On August 5, 2021, it was reported that Charlie Watts had elected to sit out the resumption of the US No Filter Tour due to a heart procedure surgery and that Jordan would temporarily replace him on drums.[5]

Early years[edit]

Jordan attended New York City's High School of Music and Art, graduating in 1974.

Jordan was a teenager when he became an honorary member of Stevie Wonder’s[6] band "WonderLove". He also was a substitute drummer in the band "Stuff" in 1976  and played with Joe Cocker on his American tour. Later, he played drums for the Saturday Night Live band in the 1970s. When John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd toured as The Blues Brothers in the late 1970s, Jordan was their drummer, and recorded on their resulting albums, credited as Steve "Getdwa" Jordan. He did not, however, appear in the movie of the same name. Jordan also played in the New York "24th Street Band" with Will Lee, Clifford Carter, and Hiram Bullock which later became Paul Shaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band, which played on Late Night with David Letterman from 1982 to 1986.

X-Pensive Winos and Chuck Berry[edit]

Jordan, along with fellow Shaffer alumnus Anton Fig, appeared on the Rolling Stones' 1986 release Dirty Work, playing percussion, not drums, contrary to rumors. Keith Richards then hired Jordan to play on Aretha Franklin's cover of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for a film of the same name.[7]

According to Richards, Jordan kept asking Richards on the plane ride home from the recording session with Franklin in Detroit, to be included in the upcoming documentary by Taylor Hackford Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, a tribute to Chuck Berry.[8] Richards had been hoping to include Charlie Watts in the project but when this proved unfeasible, Jordan was hired and he appeared in many scenes with Berry and Richards.[9] The success of this project led to Jordan's membership in Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos, a band that toured and recorded three albums, Talk is Cheap (1988), Main Offender (1992), and Crosseyed Heart (2015). Jordan co-produced all three albums and is credited with songwriting, along with Richards. One of these collaborations made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 via the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels album version in 1989: "Almost Hear You Sigh" peaked at number 50 (U.S.) and 31 (U.K.) in December of that year.

The Verbs[edit]

Jordan formed a band with his wife, Meegan Voss, who fronted the all-girl punk bands the PopTarts and the Antoinettes, and they have toured and recorded under the band name the Verbs. They toured Japan in 2007 in support of their first release, And Now... The Verbs. They followed their debut album with Trip, the next release by Jordan and Voss. As in their previous release, this album features Tamio Okuda on lead guitars, Pino Palladino on bass and additional classic guitar work by Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar.

Producing and performance career[edit]

Jordan has recorded with such artists as Don Henley, John Mellencamp, Andres Calamaro, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, Sonny Rollins, BB King, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Kelly Clarkson, and many more.[10] He is featured on James Taylor's 1998 DVD, Live at the Beacon Theatre.

Jordan is a Grammy Award-winning and nominated producer with Robert Cray's album Take Your Shoes Off and Buddy Guy's Bring 'Em In, respectively. He has played on Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" and Bruce Springsteen's Devils and Dust, and he produced the Grammy Award-winning John Mayer album Continuum (2006),[11] John Scofield's That's What I Say, Possibilities by Herbie Hancock, and 23rd St. Lullaby and Play It As It Lays with Patti Scialfa.

Jordan is interviewed on screen, was a musical director, led the house band and appears in performance footage in the 2005 documentary film Make It Funky!, which presents a history of New Orleans music and its influence on rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk and jazz.[12][13]

In 2006, Jordan joined Eric Clapton's touring band for Clapton's "European Tour 2006", which included seven sold-out shows at the Royal Albert Hall. He continued in Clapton's band as they toured North America in 2007.

In 2008, Jordan produced and played percussion on one track for Los Lonely Boys' third album, Forgiven, at East Side Stages in Austin, Texas.

In 2009, Jordan received another Grammy Award nomination - the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, for his work on the soundtrack scoring film for the movie Cadillac Records.

In 2013, Jordan produced the Boz Scaggs album Memphis.

John Mayer Trio[edit]

Jordan is a member of the John Mayer Trio, a blues rock power trio that consists of Jordan, on drums and backing vocals, bassist Pino Palladino and guitarist-singer John Mayer. The group was formed in 2005 by Mayer as a deviation from his pop-acoustic career. The trio released the record Try! on November 22, 2005. The 11-track live album includes cover songs, such as Jimi Hendrix's "Wait Until Tomorrow", and "I Got a Woman" by Ray Charles, two songs from Mayer's release Heavier Things, as well as new songs written by Mayer, in addition to three songs written by Jordan, Mayer, and Palladino. They are: "Good Love Is On the Way", "Vultures" and "Try". Jordan and Mayer also produced the album together on the Columbia Records label.

Left to Right: Steve Jordan, John Mayer, and Pino Palladino

The trio also performed on December 8, 2007, in Los Angeles, California at the L.A. Live Nokia Theatre for the 1st Annual Holiday Charity Revue, which raised funds for various Los Angeles related charities. The DVD/CD release, entitled Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles features Palladino on bass and Jordan on drums.

Jordan would later collaborate with Mayer and Charlie Hunter by writing "In Repair", the 11th track from Mayer's 2006 album Continuum. Jordan also contributed to Mayer's fourth album, Battle Studies; videos of the conceptual/recording sessions can be viewed on YouTube.

Super Soul Band[edit]

Jordan also belongs to an all-star funk group, that "is redefining the idea of a supergroup." The band consists of Jordan on the drums, Wayne Cobham, Eddie Allen, Clifton Anderson, and Clark Gayton on the horn section. Willie Weeks on bass, Mix Master Mike, Isaiah Sharkey, and Ray Parker Jr. on guitar.

The Rolling Stones[edit]

On August 5, 2021, it was announced that Jordan would replace Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts on the Stones' 13-date US tour.[14] Watts was first sidelined for health problems and died on August 24, 2021, at the age of 80 after a short illness. Richards recounted in his 2010 autobiography that in the 1980s Watts told him that if he ever wanted to work with another drummer, "Steve Jordan’s your man."[15][16]

Steve Jordan, left, with drum kit, performing with Eric Clapton's set during
The Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2007

Discography[edit]

With the Blues Brothers[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Patti Austin

With George Benson

With Booker T. & the M.G.'s

With Andrés Calamaro

  • Alta Suciedad (Gasa, 1997)

With Bunky Green

With B.B. King

With Ivan Neville

With Don Pullen

With Keith Richards

With Feargal Sharkey

  • Wish (Virgin Records, 1988)

With Bruce Springsteen

With Cat Stevens

With Candi Staton

  • Chance (Warner Bros. Records, 1979)

With Josh Groban

With Nicole Renée

With Neil Young

With Bernard Fowler

  • Inside Out (Rhyme & Reason, 2019)

With LeAnn Rimes

With Don Henley

With Roberta Flack

With Taj Mahal

With Bonnie Tyler

With Mark Ronson

With Ziggy Marley

With Ronnie Baker Brooks

  • Times Have Changed (Provogue, 2017)

With Andrew Strong

  • Strong (MCA Records, 1993)

With Keb' Mo'

With John Scofield

With John Sebastian

  • Tar Beach (Shanachie, 1992)

With Kelly Clarkson

With Steve Cropper

  • Dedicated – A Salute to the 5 Royales (429 Records, 2011)

With Major Harris

  • How Do You Take Your Love (RCA Records, 1978)

With Steven Van Zandt

With Debbie Gibson

With Alicia Keys

With Bruno Mars

With Aretha Franklin

With Casey Abrams

With James Taylor

With Rod Stewart

With John Mayer

With John Mayer Trio

  • Try! (Columbia, 2005)

With Sam Phillips

With Beyoncé

With Vince Gill

With Mike Stern

With Cyndi Lauper

With Amanda Marshall

With Billy Joel

With Sheryl Crow

With Solomon Burke

  • Like a Fire (Shout! Factory, 2008)

With Boz Scaggs

With Garland Jeffreys

With Patti Scialfa

With Stevie Nicks

With J. J. Cale and Eric Clapton

With Cissy Houston

With John Mellencamp

With Herbie Hancock

  • Possibilities (Hear Music, 2005)

With Bob Dylan

With Donald Fagen

With Melanie

  • Phonogenic – Not Just Another Pretty Face (Midsong International, 1978)

With Michael Franks

With Eric Clapton

With Steve Khan Eyewitness

  • Eyewitness (Antilles, 1981)
  • Modern Times (also released as Blades) (Trio/Passport, 1982)
  • Casa Loco (Antilles, 1984)

With Robben Ford

Equipment[edit]

Jordan plays Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals and Remo drumheads. He has signature drumsticks from Vic Firth.

Acoustic Drums:Yamaha Maple Custom

  • 14" x 6.5" snare drum or a 13" x 6.5" Steve Jordan Signature snare drum
  • 20" x 16" bass drum
  • 12" x 8" rack tom
  • 14" x 14" floor tom

Paiste:

  • 17" Signature Traditionals Thin Crash (as hi-hat top)
  • 17" Signature Dark Energy Crash (as hi-hat bottom)
  • 20" Masters Dark Crash Ride
  • 22" Traditionals Light Ride

Drumheads: Jordan endorses Remo drumheads and uses Coated Vintage A's and Coated Ambassadors on the toms and snares and either a Coated Powerstroke 3 or a Coated Ambassador on the bass drum.

Drumsticks: "Steve's Signature stick is light and long for great touch and sound around the drums and cymbals." In hickory. L = 16 ½"; Dia. = .525" Jordan discussed their use in a video interview for Vic Firth.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parkin, Michael (January 6, 2009). "Taking Late Night Comedy Seriously". Political Research Quarterly. 63 (1): 3–15. doi:10.1177/1065912908327604. ISSN 1065-9129. S2CID 1664408.
  2. ^ Hellmann, John M. (October 1973). ""I'm a Monkey": The Influence of the Black American Blues Argot on the Rolling Stones". The Journal of American Folklore. 86 (342): 367–373. doi:10.2307/539360. JSTOR 539360.
  3. ^ "Drummerworld: Steve Jordan". Drumerworld. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  4. ^ "Steve Jordan Biography | Famous Drummers". Drum Lessons. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  5. ^ Browne, David (August 5, 2021). "From Springsteen to 'Letterman,' Rolling Stones' Touring Drummer Has Rich Musical History". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 25, 2021.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Malcolm, Douglas (1999). ""Jazz America": Jazz and African American Culture in Jack Kerouac's "On the Road"". Contemporary Literature. 40 (1): 85–110. doi:10.2307/1208820. JSTOR 1208820.
  7. ^ Wade, Margaret; Wade, Melvin; Bell, Bernard (January 1977). "The Folk Roots of Contemporary Afro-American Poetry". The Journal of American Folklore. 90 (355): 81. doi:10.2307/539026. ISSN 0021-8715. JSTOR 539026.
  8. ^ Fryer, Paul H. (March 1, 1981). ""Brown-Eyed Handsome Man": Chuck Berry and the Blues Tradition". Phylon. 42 (1): 60–72. doi:10.2307/274885. JSTOR 274885.
  9. ^ Keith Richards interview, Rolling Stone, October 6, 1988
  10. ^ "Steve Jordan Credits". All Music. 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "Steve Jordan Grammy Award Continuum". All Music. 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "IAJE What's Going On". Jazz Education Journal. Manhattan, Kansas: International Association of Jazz Educators. 37 (5): 87. April 2005. ISSN 1540-2886. ProQuest 1370090.
  13. ^ Make It Funky! (DVD). Culver City, California: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2005. ISBN 9781404991583. OCLC 61207781. 11952.
  14. ^ "Steve Jordan to Sub for Charlie Watts on The Rolling Stones' Fall Tour". Relix Media. August 5, 2021.
  15. ^ Keith Richards; James Fox (October 26, 2010). Life. ISBN 9780316128568 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Grow, Kory (October 26, 2020). "Keith Richards on His New Box Set, the Next Stones LP and Who Really Inspired 'You Don't Move Me'". Rolling Stone.
  17. ^ "Vic Firth Artist: Steve Jordan". Vic Firth: The World's Largest Manufacturer of Drumsticks and Mallets. Vic Firth Incorporated. 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2009.

External links[edit]