Musician Tim Luntzel passed away this week.
He was a phenomenal bass player who chose to serve music rather than showcase his virtuosity.
I remember seeing him play at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC. It was the release party for his solo CD. He had arranged ‘Funky Town’ for solo acoustic bass. He played all of the different parts of the song on the bass perfectly, sweating profusely.
I bought a copy of the CD. The cover art featured an old picture of him, with a cartoonish picture of a dragon drawn by his mom.
For all of the years that I knew him, Tim played an inexpensive acoustic bass. The kind which you could probably find on CraigsList for $600 or so. His electric bass was a Fender Bullet – the model usually wielded by high school students with no budget.
Tim told me a story about taking lessons with bass player Ron Carter. When struggling with an assignment, he commented to his teacher that he thought it was impossible to play on his bass. Ron took the bass, played the song perfectly, and said, “Mr. Luntzel, there’s nothing wrong with this bass.”