Steve Gadd

Born: April 9, 1945 in Irondequoit, New York

Among the many facets that shine brightly in the drumming of Steve Gadd, one of the most celebrated is his time feel—that unique ability to find the ultimate kernel of truth in a groove and wed himself to it in a way that is simply… undeniable. Like a magician, Gadd presents even the simplest beats with such awe-inspiring clarity, intensity, and sheer “good feel” that we are left wondering, “How did he do that?” Undoubtedly, it’s this uncanny ability to play time that has made him one of the most accomplished and revered figures in drumming today.

Although an analysis of Steve Gadd’s playing is worthy of a book unto itself, our conversation focuses specifically on the rock’n’rollers who have inspired him along the way. From the heavy shuffles of jazz organ groups and proto-rockers like Louis Prima to the New Orleans grease of Earl Palmer and the ’60s funk of Bernard Purdie, Gadd offers keen insight into a wide range of grooving traditions.