In viewing the Compositional Drumming DVD by Washington, DC born Sean Rickman, one is immediately taken aback by his advanced drumming skills. No question, he is in a league with fusion greats Dennis Chambers, Steve Smith, and Dave Weckl. Rickman, also a talented multi-instrumentalist, composed the complex music and played all instruments on the DVD.
Sean began performing with the DC reggae band Blacksheep, then relocated to Memphis, Tennessee in 1992 to work with the late guitar master Shawn Lane. The drummer would go on to work on several recordings and instructional video performances with Lane.
In 1993, Sean moved to Los Angeles to perform with his father, veteran guitarist Phil Upchurch, with whom he toured Europe. “My mother and father separated before I was born,” notes Rickman. “My mother was a professional singer and taught me everything about music. I didn’t meet my father until about 1981, when I was already playing guitar, bass, and drums.
While doing sessions in New York for singer Angela Bofill, Rickman met up with drummer Gene Lake, who has recommended him for several gigs, including Meshell Ndegeocello, alto-saxophonist Steve Coleman, Dapp Theory, and recently a tour with Screaming Headless Torsos.
Rickman’s philosophy for playing is to understand the form of the music first and then decide what technique best fits the music. “When I was younger I would play the whole form of all my favorite songs without the music,” Sean says. “I played all the drum tracks on my DVD with just a click and recorded the other tracks later. I feel that you should learn the form first, then the rhythm, and then decide which techniques will bring the song to life.”
For more on Sean “The Rick” Rickman visit his website here.