The following is written by Greg Phillips - Editor of Australian Musician magazine, May 2006:
FINALLY ... WAYNE JONES DEBUT SOLO ALBUM 'FORGOTTEN MELODY'
World class! It's a term often used, often loosely, sometimes even carelessly ... and what does it mean anyway? When used in context of a recording artist's press release, the author's goal is generally to create some hype, give the impression that the subject is just as talented as those whom roam the stage internationally. A more humble definition could be that when played, the recording could easily present equal parts enjoyment to anyone, anywhere in the world, irrespective of language, colour, religion or creed. Whatever the definition, it can be said without fear of contradiction, that Australian bassist extraordinaire Wayne Jones' debut solo album Forgotten Melody' is ALL class.
A bass player's solo album I hear you say? The bass player is the guy responsible for keeping the beat, the one playing the guitar with the four thick strings ... right? Well to an extent yes. But assumptions are such dangerous beasts, closing the mind to a myriad of possibilities. What happens however, when the bass player comes up front, takes the lead on a six string bass, plays the melodies and writes most of the songs? What happens when that bass player is Wayne Jones?
Wayne has been an active fixture on the Australian session circuit for the last three decades with backing credits attached to artists as diverse as Geoff Achison, Ian Moss, Dave Hole and Kate Ceberano, as well as an array of film, television and bass clinician work under his belt. Finally, after first entertaining the thought of releasing a solo album around seven years ago, and with the assistance of newborn record company Pacific Records, Wayne delivers 'Forgotten Melody' a jazz tinged, funk and groove based feast, utilising some of Australia's finest session players. Joining Wayne in his symposium of sonic sophistication are guitarist Ron Peers (Stylus, Renee Geyer), drummer Gerry Pantazis (Tommy Emmanuel, Bachelor Girl) and WA's James Sandon on sax (GMA). Keyboards and co-production kudos goes to Ash Crick, who at one time was the fastest person on earth.True! Apart from playing with Tommy Emmanuel, Dale Ryder and Funk Fiction, Ash is a former world champion sky diver and was officially noted as the fastest person in the world in any non-motorised sport in the year 2000 when he free-fell at 500km per hour (the record has since been broken).
From the opening few bars of track one of this album, the chuggalong "Tom's Shuffle', there's no disputing Wayne's amazing command of the bass as he plucks and slaps with a fluidity and freedom that many others could only ever aspire to. While Ron, Ash, and James provide feel good melody flashes, and Gerry keeps it all tight and together, Wayne can't help but slide out of the pocket and into the forefront with some astonishingly liquid bass licks.
With track two, the title track "Forgotten Melody", Wayne slips into something more sublime. It's an after dark jazz cocktail featuring Wayne's lead melody on his Status six string with the immaculate production values capturing every resonance of his strings.
'Gone for a Walk', 'Hole in My Pocket' and 'Written Hour' follow, each providing a joyous vibe, a fusion of early morning anticipation and late night romance or reflection.
You'd be forgiven for thinking a wide variety of basses and effects were used to conjure the dynamic sounds offered on this disc, however for the most part, it's one bass, and all fingers and thumbs with only a hint of studio tweak. Anyone who has ever cast doubt on the bass's ability to take on head chef duties, need only listen to the concoction Wayne cooks up on his unique funkified version of the jazz standard 'Take Five'. Whoever said precision and passion don't mix!
By track ten, the album's closing celebration "In Full Flight", the listener is left in no doubt as to the astonishing bass talents of Mr Jones. Wayne Jones knows bass. So much so that in conjunction with Michail Barabasz, designed his own Wayne Jones model bass cabinets which have received rave reviews in international musician magazines. Proof is in the pudding they say, and engineer Steve Scanlon was so impressed with the Jones' speaker cabs, he mixed this album through them. "Forgotten Melody" is all Wayne Jones, all class ... world class in fact!
Greg Phillips-Editor Australian Musician magazine May, 2006