Bass Deluxe: Ron Mathewson

 Bass Deluxe: Ron Mathewson

Bass stands against a wall.
A singing, dear, expensive bass
Unused and tall,
Its agoraphobic player on a chair he calls his ‘throne’,
Alone, with daily cigarettes,
Watching TV, living in, on the touring pasts.
Half understanding – just half understanding
How great and talented he was.
Perfect recall, perfect pitch
All he broods about is what he’s done –
What was attained long, long, long, gone.

Life’s contradictions:
Great gifts. great restrictions.
One feels the ache of disappointment:
Talent that resigns from life with that great depot of accomplishment,
Finely filed on disc and film.
Not to be bettered, that bass with its singing-ness.
Like men of genius gifts and neuroses,
Ron’s bass was divine, a mine of nuances,
Shades, silken tones, harmonies endless.
That sensitive ear! What chords he would hear!
Phrases he’d play on!
A multi-boxed crayon.
He could pluck, he could bow .
Did his intellect know why, what, how?
He just did it!

The box of wine, that pack of smokes.
The emails, phone calls, stockpile of anecdotes;
Remembered peers, recalled remarks,
The names of tunes leaving their marK;
The taste and technique, the recall
Combined, his all.

Yet all that one can say
Is that one of the ‘chosen few’
A treasured, master jazz bass player
Lived his last day
On a Thursday, 3rd December, 2020.

Bass Deluxe: Ron Mathewson 12.9.2020 Vaguely About Music II; Birth, Death & In Between III; Special People, Special Occasions; Arlene Nover Corwin

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