Hard Groove: Steve Jordan



1. used to describe a rhythmic quality of music that is emotionally communicative and soulful; used for music moving at a steady beat. 

For most of you readers, this name may not be all too familiar.  However, chances are good that you’ve heard this man play before; whether it be with the iconic Blues Brothers, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, or countless others.  Steve Jordan has played with the best of them and is a pioneer of groove.  Oh yeah… I suppose I should mention that he is a drummer.  However, not only is he a phenomenal drummer that many (and I mean many) people try to emulate, but he is also a phenomenal producer having produced for countless musicians including John Mayer, Keith Richards, John Scofield, Herbie Hancock, and more.

Enough of the intro… Let’s get into why this cat is so damn fresh. 

First off, Steve Jordan has a history of playing in show bands (Saturday Night Live and Paul Shaffer’s band on the Letterman Show) and believe me; you can’t just be some Joe-Schmoe to get those gigs.  On top of that (as stated before), he has an extensive history of laying cuts in the recording studio.  For someone to play on a TV show band or be a regular in the recording studio, they have to have some feel and some pocket.  Secondly, Steve Jordan does not mess around.  If you have ever seen this man play, you can tell that he feels the groove of every single second of tune from the soles of his shoes to the hair on his head.  You might even say that his chain around his neck is feelin’ that groove whilst bouncing around his neck.  For real, this man has some SERIOUS feel.  Lastly, Jordan just manhandles the drums like a damn king and slaps the shit out of them.  Talk about taking the reigns of the band and the groove and owning that shit.  Whatta king.

Speaking of slapping the shit outta the drums….  Here is Steve with the John Mayer Trio playing, “Who Did You Think I Was” Live at Clapton's Crossroads Music Festival.

Here Steve is from his DVD, "The Groove is Here", laying down some seriously thick grooves:

His fountain of knowledge on the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the importance of knowing the greats before us:

Playing a killing solo with John Mayer:

And finally... a really great video with him speaking about his upbringing on the drumset and his experiences with past groups:

There are a few videos of him playing on the late, great Elvin Jones’ cymbals – definitely worth checking out.

Thanks to Steve Jordan for being a king and a master of this instrument.  He continues to inspire me and many other up and coming musicians as well and continues to produce great music.  As my friend Ryan would say, this cat is “straight booty”.  Steve is Hard Groove.