Stephen "Steve" Jordan (born January 14, 1957) is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, musical director and producer from the Bronx in New York City.
Best known as a drummer, Jordan has been a member of several bands and ensembles, and has spent a significant amount of his career backing other famous musicians as a sideman and as a session player in recording studios. He has been a member, songwriter and co-producer of Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos and the John Mayer Trio. He has backed Eric Clapton in his touring band. Steve also played drums on Robben Ford's 1997 release, "Tiger Walk".
Jordan has additionally released an instructional program for drummers called The Groove is Here.
Jordan attended New York City's High School of Music and Art, graduating in 1974.
Jordan was a teenager when he first played in Stevie Wonder's band. Later, he played drums for the Saturday Night Live band in the 1970s. Jordan also played in the New York "24th Street Band" which had great success in Japan. When John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd toured as The Blues Brothers in the early 1980s, Jordan was their drummer, and recorded on their resulting album, credited as Steve "Getdwa" Jordan. He did not, however, appear in the movie of the same name. He also played drums for Paul Shaffer's World's Most Dangerous Band on Late Night with David Letterman from 1982-1986; he was replaced by Anton Fig, who remained with Letterman through the host's move to The Late Show until the series ended in 2015.
X-Pensive Winos and Chuck Berry
Jordan, along with fellow Shaffer alumnus Anton Fig, appeared on the Rolling Stones' 1986 release Dirty Work when Charlie Watts' participation was stilled due to his substance abuse problems in the mid-80s. Keith Richards then hired Jordan to play on Aretha Franklin's cover of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" for a film of the same name.
According to Richards, Jordan pressed Richards on the plane ride home from Aretha's recording session in Detroit to be included in the upcoming documentary by Taylor Hackford Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, a tribute to Chuck Berry. 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.
The success of this project led to Jordan's membership in Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos, a band that toured with Richards and recorded two albums, Talk is Cheap (1988) and Main Offender (1992). Jordan co-produced both 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.
John Mayer Trio
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.
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 eleventh 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.
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. He is featured on James Taylor's 1998 DVD, Live at the Beacon Theatre.
Jordan has evolved into a Grammy Award-winning and nominated producer with Robert Cray's album Take Your Shoes Off and Buddy Guy's Bring 'Em In, respectively. While he has played on countless records, from Alicia Keys "If I Ain't Got You" to Bruce Springsteen's Devils and Dust, he continues to produce with such works as the Grammy Award winning John Mayer album Continuum, John Scofield's That's What I Say, Possibilities by Herbie Hancock, and 23rd St. Lullaby with Patti Scialfa.
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.
Jordan formed a band with his wife, Meegan Voss, and they have toured and recorded under the band name, The Verbs. The music has been described as "The perfect cocktail of girl group, Brit-pop, country, ska and rock and Roll." They toured Japan in 2006 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.
With The Blues Brothers
- Briefcase Full of Blues, 1978
- Made in America, 1980
- Best of the Blues Brothers, 1981
- Dancin' Wid Da Blues Brothers, 1983
- Everybody Needs the Blues Brothers, 1988
- The Definitive Collection, 1992
- The Very Best of The Blues Brothers, 1995
- The Blues Brothers Complete, 2000
- The Essentials, 2003
With Patti Austin
- Havana Candy (CTI, 1977)
With Don Pullen
- Montreux Concert (Atlantic, 1977)
With Booker T. & the M.G.'s
- That's The Way It Should Be (Columbia, Acadia 1994)
With Cat Stevens
- Back to Earth (A&M, Island)
With Keith Richards
- Talk Is Cheap (Virgin, 1988)
- Main Offender (Virgin, 1992)
- Crosseyed Heart (Republic, 2015)
With Neil Young
- Landing on Water (Geffen, 1986)
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
- 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
Steve Jordan was an innovator when it came to cymbal setup. His choice of hi-hat cymbals and use of extra large 17" hi-hat cymbals was a unique idea, contrary to the traditional 13"-14" diameters used on most hi-hats or the 15" hi-hats that John Bonham of Led Zeppelin had popularized.
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.
"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.