Ask A Drummer: Steve Jordan
by Guitar Center on September 10, 2015
Why the drums?
Apparently, I was banging on pots and pans from the age of 2.
I remember the first real kit I ever sat behind. It was in The Bronx at a music store, where I received private lessons from the age of 8. My teacher was Joey Cal and it was a blue sparkle round badge Gretsch kit. I loved looking down at the hi-hat and bass drum pedals, etc… I was hooked!
Best drum track of all time (in your humble opinion)?
There are way too many incredible performances in history that make it virtually impossible to pick a favorite… basically, play any recording that Earl Palmer, Fred Below, Benny Benjamin, Al Jackson Jr., Sonny Payne, Elbert Woodson, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Papa Joe Jones, Tony Williams, Grady Tate, Bernard Purdie, Freddie Waits, Kenny Clarke, Jabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, Zigaboo Modeleste, Greg Errico, Harvey Mason, Dave Garibaldi, Carlton Barrett, Lloyd Knibbs, Winston Grennan, Big Sid Catlett, Sam Lay, Melvin Parker, Jim Keltner, Steve Gadd, John Bonham, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Hal Blaine, Roger Hawkins, James Gadsonn Ed Greene, Andrew Smith, Earl Young, Jack DeJohnette, Smoky Johnson, Frank Butler, George Brown, Levon Helm, Uriel Johns, Pistol Allen, Jeff Pocarro, Mickey Roker, Billy Cobham, Charlie Watts, Louie Bellson, Sly Dunbar, Sandy McKee, Buddy Miles, Morris Jennings, Willie Hall, Freddie White, Russ Kunkel, Jabali Billy Hart, Nate Jones, Paul Humphreys, Mick Fleetwood, DJ Fontana, Jerry Allison, Bobby Graham, Clem Catini, Brian Bennett, Steve Ferrone, Ben Riley, Jimmy Cobb, Milt Turner and Stevie Wonder played on, to name the tip of the iceberg!
What’s your favorite piece of drum gear?
I love light single brace hardware. First and most importantly, it’s better for the sound of the instruments, whether cymbals or drums.
What are you working on now?
(Steve is always deep in the world of music whether it’s producing and writing with other musicians, supporting artists on his label, music directing, or laying down some drum tracks.)
Meegan Voss & I are writing music for the next album by The Verbs. It will be called, “Garage Sale.”
Also support a new artist on our label Jay-Vee Records, named Ray Goren. He writes, sings and plays guitar and keys. His new single is called “Those Days” and the forthcoming EP is called, “Songs For You,” which I produced in association w/Meegan.
I’m currently producing a new Sheryl Crow album.
Musical Director for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards Telecast.
Meegan and I have just become Directors Of Special Events and Development for The Jazz Foundation Of America. Our next event is our annual “A Great Night In Harlem” Gala at The World Famous Apollo Theatre. Sonny Rollins will be given a Lifetime Achievement Award.
What are your words of wisdom for drummers just starting out?
When you’re starting out, the most important attribute to acquire will be PATIENCE. Some things just evolve naturally over time. Some things can’t be rushed.
When you have a break through on something you’ve been working on, remember that feeling because it’s one of the best feelings in the world!