Steve Messick
Transmissions From Planet Bass
Opus Funkus Music (SMMD-1001)

Released February 22, 1999 through Opus Funkus Music.

Steve Messick: Transmissions From Planet Bass


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Sprightly and tuneful--yet never smooth--Steve Messick's compositions recall an era when jazz routinely fused the artistic explorations of bebop with the catchiness of R&B. As performed by his band of fellow Seattle musicians, these tunes spark some fine improvisations and spirited interplay. (

Bassist Steven Messick leads his quintet through a list of originals and standards in a classic hard bop style on Transmissions From Planet Bass. Sounding somewhat like Scott LaFaro, Messick favors a fuzzy, soft tone and straight-ahead arrangements reminiscent of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers' mid-'60s recordings. Adding suitable fire and interest are the trumpet and tenor jousting of Jay Thomas and Travis Ranney, respectively. While there is nothing here that hasn't been heard before, it is done well and should appeal to traditionalists. Fans of the group One for All should check this out. (Matt Collar, All Music Guide)

The grooves of Seattle-based bassist Steve Messick and friends in Transmissions From Planet Bass, a fine straight-ahead exploration of mostly well-known tunes including jazz standards from the pens of Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, and Jerome Richardson. (Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal, Spring 2000)


Transmissions From Planet Bass is jazz bassist Steve Messick's debut album featuring Pacific Northwest artists Jay Thomas on trumpet, Travis Ranney on tenor sax, John Hansen and David Franklin on piano, and Jon Wikan on drums. Transmissions From Planet Bass contains two compositions by Steve Messick: "I Love You Too", which is a new melody on the changes to Cole Porter's "I Love You", and "Blues For Janet", a modified jazz blues with syncopated interaction between the horns and the rhythm section.


1. Groove Merchant (6:19)
Jerome Richardson, Immendise Music Co. (BMI); Arr. by Steven M. Messick
2. Sophisticated Lady (6:25)
Duke Ellington, Mitchell Parish, Irving Mills, Famous Music Corp. (ASCAP), EMI Mills Music Inc. (ASCAP)
3. I Love You Too (5:55)
Steven M. Messick, Opus Funkus Music (BMI)
4. Jersey Bounce (6:46)
E. Johnson, D. Platter, T. Bradshaw, R. Wright, Lewis Music Publishing Co. Inc. (ASCAP); Arr. by Steven M. Messick
5. Blues For Janet (6:48)
Steven M. Messick, Opus Funkus Music (BMI)
6. A Child Is Born (7:55)
Thad Jones, D'Accord Music Inc. (ASCAP); Arr. by Steven M. Messick
7. Someday My Prince Will Come (8:58)
Frank Churchill, Larry Morey, Bourne Co. (ASCAP); Arr. by Steven M. Messick
8. Jeannine (5:44)
Duke Pearson, UPAM Music Co. (BMI); Arr. by Steven M. Messick
9. Cotton Tail (6:22)
Duke Ellington, Famous Music Corp. (ASCAP)
10. Old Devil Moon (6:10)
E.Y. Harburg and Burton Lane, Chappell & Co. (ASCAP); Arr. by Steven M. Messick


Jay Thomas - trumpet
Travis Ranney - tenor saxophone
John Hansen - piano (on tracks 1, 2, 3,5, 7, 9, 10)
David Franklin - piano (on tracks 4, 6, 8)
Steve Messick - double bass
Jon Wikan - drums

Produced by Steve Messick
Production assistance from Patrick "ran the Boston" Shaw
Creative assistance from Scot "frog licker" Ranney

Recorded by Jay Follette at Ironwood Studios, Seattle, WA on May 22, 1998
Mixed by Jay Follette at Ironwood Studios on August 1, 1998
Mastered by Jay Follette and Floyd Reitsma at Ironwood Studios

Cover art by Daniel Johnston
Graphic design and layout by Doug and Misty Messick at MD Media
Photography by Dale Tendick