Jazz drummer Rick Drumm has announced the release on August 15th of Return From The Unknown, the debut album of Rick Drumm and Fatty Necroses. This extraordinary collection by the music business leader and his band of top teachers and players captures the essence of Drumm’s recent bout with, and subsequent recovery from, cancer.
Drumm is president of D’Addario & Company, manufacturer of D’Addario guitar, bass and violin strings, Evans Drumheads, Pro-Mark Drumsticks, Rico Reeds, Puresound percussion products and Planet Waves accessories, and has spent his life as an active player. He got the job through a selection process that included an interview by Jack Welch. Rick and D’Addario are supporters of dozens of top players throughout the music world.
Rick Drumm and Fatty Necroses features Drumm, guitarist and University of North Texas professor Fred Hamilton, guitarist and Utah State University teacher Corey Christiansen, trombonist and San Antonio-based teacher Mike Brumbaugh, bassist and teacher John Benitez, trumpeter and teacher Pete Grimaldi, acclaimed Cuban pianist Axel Tosca Laugart and Yamaha, Jody Jazz and Rico Reeds Saxophonist, and Savoy Jazz recording artist, Frank Catalano.
Rick’s career path in the music industry has been a combination of performing, teaching and management, with positions including sales and marketing director of Remo Inc., CEO of Midco International and president of Vic Firth.
In 2009, Drumm was diagnosed with cancer. After chemotherapy compromised his immune system and made travel difficult, he called his band together for a performance at his home where they played existing Fred Hamilton originals. Then during 2010, with Rick’s disease in remission, the band wanted to play new music, and Hamilton and Christiansen went to work on a new album. Drumm said, “We played together when we could, but as I recovered, we formed a real band, and I named it Fatty Necroses, because although the doctors got most of my cancer, they left some dead tissue in places too difficult to reach. So I’ve still got fatty necroses inside of me. Fatty necroses sounded to me like an old Memphis jazz or blues man, and I liked it, so that’s our name.”
Rick, Fred Hamilton and Mike Brumbaugh had a fusion band during 1974-1975 and much of the album’s sound was developed during that time. Their main influences were from Miles Davis’ “In a Silent Way”, Weather Report, The Crusaders, The Meters and John McLaughlin.
The album was put together in three days; one day rehearsing and two days recording. Most of the songs were done in one or two takes, with a couple of exceptions. “I wanted to capture the energy of a live performance. A lot of music recorded today is too perfect due to the technologies available,” Drumm said.
Fred Hamilton wrote the tracks “Gentle Spirit” and “Indi Funk”. Rick says, “Fred wrote ‘Gentle Spirit’ back the in the early 70’s and I still enjoy the interplay between Fred, Mike and me on that one. He’s been studying music in India over the past couple of years and brings a melodic Indian theme over a funk groove to ‘Indi Funk’.”
“Not Whatever” is a beautiful ballad written by Corey Christiansen. “Corey said he would tell me the story behind that song over a beer. He doesn’t drink, so I guess I’ll never know….”
Corey Christiansen wrote “Pulled Pork Sandwich” in honor of Rick’s wife Betsey’s wonderful pulled pork sandwiches. The song has a New Orleans’ street groove.
“Return” was written by Corey Christiansen and refers to Rick’s experience dealing with cancer. “Life is going along fine and then a change takes place,” remarked Hamilton. “The tune’s melody is repeated six times, each one corresponding to one of Rick’s chemotherapy treatments.” Drumm added, “My approach to playing on that song was to create the thoughts that were going through my head as each chemo session increased in intensity. At the end, my cancer is in remission and life returns to normal.”
Fatty Necrosis Sang the Blues – by Fred Hamilton
Gentle Spirit – by Fred Hamilton
Indi Funk – by Fred Hamilton
Not Whatever – by Corey Christiansen
Detours – by Corey Christiansen
Pulled Pork Sandwich – by Corey Christiansen
Out the Door – by Corey Christiansen
Just A Drop – by Corey Christiansen
Return – by Corey Christiansen