“I knew Beyoncé would really belt it out there, so I wanted to play something more in your face”: Meet the unsung bass hero who laid down one of the noughties’ most irresistible basslines with Beyoncé

Producer Jon Jon Traxx attends the ATL Live on the Park Gospel Brunch at Park Tavern on August 24, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Bass.” When Beyoncé uttered that simple word at the start of her hot hit from the summer of 2006, low-enders everywhere cocked their ears. Sure enough, what followed were the pulsating plucks of Jon Jon Webb on Deja Vu

For Webb, “bass” has been in his blood since he was 10, when his godmother bought him a four-string. The 42-year-old St. Louis native originally started on drums at age three, and he continued as a stickman on church and gospel gigs while shedding bass guitar at home to the sounds of Jaco, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, and local idol Tom Kennedy. 

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Chris Jisi was Contributing Editor, Senior Contributing Editor, and Editor In Chief on Bass Player 1989-2018. He is the author of Brave New Bass, a compilation of interviews with bass players like Marcus Miller, Flea, Will Lee, Tony Levin, Jeff Berlin, Les Claypool and more, and The Fretless Bass, with insight from over 25 masters including Tony Levin, Marcus Miller, Gary Willis, Richard Bona, Jimmy Haslip, and Percy Jones.