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Australian jazz artist Wayne Jones walks on "Saturday Street" with spine-tingling bass lines

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Wayne Jones
It is paved with spiky, spine-tingling bass lines, the Saturday Street that Australian jazz artist Wayne Jones walks on. Saturday Street, Jones' latest album, is a glistening summer soundtrack that bathes in the pulsating energy of city life, from sun-drenched strolling to a midnight slow jam at a club. On the title track Jones' bass feels like a living entity; it throbs with vigor and swagger while jumpy piano adds further electricity.

The forcefulness of Jones' bass playing is easily the most recognizable aspect of his style. On “Slow & Mellow," Jones is downright funky on what is essentially a romantic ballad; his bass literally leaps out of the speakers. According to Jones, the two-fisted punch of his bass is rooted in his original desire to become a drummer. “I used to have a passion for playing drums in my early teens," Jones recalled. “I started playing bass around 1969 after an industrial accident left me unable to hold a drumstick properly. I turned professional in 1976. It's funny how fate works. I much prefer bass as I now have both rhythm and melody to enjoy. I guess I used the passion I had for the drums and applied it to the bass."

Jones displays extraordinary command of the bass in Saturday Street, and it may cause one to assume that he received formal training with the instrument; however, that was not the case. “Like many of my generation I was self-taught," Jones revealed. “I learned from records. I would listened to a few bars, lift the arm off the turntable, copy the phrases, and then put it back in roughly the same spot for the next bit. Eventually I had to teach myself modes, scales, and arpeggios. I'm sure glad I did as these are the tools I use to draw from when I play."

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