New Bop Brigade
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New Bop Brigade


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The best kept secret in music


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New Bop Brigade: New Bop Brigade, Opus Funkus Music, 11/18/2005


The NBB's debut CD is available for download from Apple iTunes.

Radio Play:

The NBB's debut CD has received airplay on Jim Wilke's "Jazz Northwest" on KPLU and Steve Ward's "Jazz in the Schools" on KSER.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The New Bop Brigade is a modern jazz quintet that performs original post-bop compositions by founders Steve Messick and David Franklin. The music is both accessible and melodic, being inspired by the works of Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock during the mid 60’s, but it is never smooth. The NBB has been performing in Seattle since its inception in 2002.

New Bop Brigade: Band Member Bios

Steve Messick (Bandleader, Composer, Bass) is a Seattle jazz and classical bassist, composer, and bandleader. He studied with Peter Vinikow and is a graduate of the University of Washington. His 1999 debut jazz CD, Transmissions From Planet Bass, features his arrangements and compositions performed by Jay Thomas, Travis Ranney, John Hansen, David Franklin, and Jon Wikan. He is a member of Orchestra Seattle, directed by George Shangrow, and has also performed with many other Seattle orchestras. He performed regularly with the Emerald City Jazz Orchestra from 2002-2005 and can be heard on their Come Rain or Come Shine CD. He was a member of University of Northern Colorado’s Combo I from 1993-1994, which won Down Beat magazine’s Blues/Pop/Rock Instrumentalist Group of 1994. In 1992, he performed for five months in Seoul, Korea with The Seattle Jazz at J.J. Mahoney's in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. He is a co-founder and contributing composer for the New Bop Brigade.

David Franklin (Bandleader, Composer, Piano), a veteran of the University of Oregon and University of Washington music programs, has studied with Lois Lisez, Victor Steinhardt, and Marc Seales. At the University of Chicago, he was a founding member of the avant-garde Jazz X-Tet, directed by AACM chairman Mwata Bowden. He toured Japan with vocal jazz group Soundsation and performed on their Simple Gifts CD. He is a member of the rock band Three Shades of Gray (3SG) and can be heard on their It’s About Time CD. He is a co-founder and contributing composer for the New Bop Brigade.

Chris Stover (Trombone) is a composer, performer, and improviser living in Seattle. He specializes in world music and creative improvisation and has toured with international and local artists including Quasi Nada, Pablo Moses, Apple Gabriel, the Abyssinians, Jumbalassy, the Harry James Orchestra, Quimbara, Sonando, Plush Utility, and Grupo Son. He leads several of his own ensembles in Seattle, including More Zero, Acquired Involuntary Narcissism, Famous Blue Raincoat, and grenouille defiguree, and co-leads the creative ensemble Frieze of Life. In addition, he is an active composer with over four hundred compositions and arrangements to his credit.

Travis Ranney (Tenor Sax) has performed at the Port Townsend Centrum Jazz Festival for the last three years with such artists as Pete Christieb, Gary Smulyan, Bob Florence, and Kim Richmond. He is a member of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, the Emerald City Jazz Orchestra, and he performs frequently with the Seattle Symphony pops concerts. Other gigs have included touring with Rusty Sabella and the Sabella Consort, many years in the Fabulous Roadstars Dixieland Band, and five years on the Queen of the West Sternwheeler.

Ken French (Drums) began his career as a professional drummer in 1980 with the USAF band program. He entered the Air Force and was assigned to the AF Band at Travis AFB, CA. Later assignments included working with the AF bands at Scott AFB, IL and the USAF Academy Band in Colorado Springs, CO. During his Air Force Band career, he performed in a wide variety of musical groups. A highlight of his musical career in the Air Force was performing and recording with the USAF Academy Falconaires jazz ensemble from 1990-1993. After twenty years of service, he retired from the Air Force, and he currently makes his living as a freelance drummer in the Seattle area. He can be heard weekly in Seattle at the Pampas Room with Floyd Standifer and The Pampass Band.