b. Rognuald Andrew Matthewson, 19 February 1944, Lerwick, Shetland Isles, Scotland. Matthewson began playing piano at the age of three, but switched to bass at 16. The first band with which he played was a local quartet in which he was teamed with a violinist, pianist and an accordionist playing reels and old-time dances. His first jazz enthusiasm was for trad stars Acker Bilk and Chris Barber, and his first engagements with a well-known band were with the Clyde Valley Stompers, with whom he moved to London in 1962. After a spell back in the Shetlands working for the Herring Industry Board, he returned to London to work with Alex Welsh in 1964. He began to work in a modern jazz context with John Stevens, then returned to Welsh’s band for a while before spending time with John Cox, Tubby Hayes, the Clarke-Boland Big Band, Paz, Philly Joe Jones, Phil Woods’ European Rhythm Machine, Gordon Beck’s Gyroscope, Stan Sulzmann, Kenny Wheeler and a long spell with Ronnie Scott’s Quintet. There was also a duo with bass player Ron Rubin.
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