100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

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Steve Jordan

80. Steve Jordan

Raised from a strong tradition of R&B and soul, Steve Jordan was in his teens when he started playing with Stevie Wonder and soon evolved into a versatile performer equally skilled in extemporaneous jazz fusion and sparse, straightforward, soulful rock. A decade younger than most Sixties rock royalty, he's been the man to provide some juice for a second act — he's a member of Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos, played for Eighties Neil Young, toured extensively with Eric Clapton and even was part of fictional reunion band the Blues Brothers. (He has also established strong ties to a younger generation, anchoring John Mayer's signature trio.) Loose and confident, Jordan became a master of all trades, imbuing whatever he played with his quintessential swing. "If you're a rigid person, I don't think you can swing or make other people swing," he said of his technique. "I would take a drummer who has no technique any day of the week over a more efficient drummer, if he swings better."

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