In 1980, Tom van der Geld and Children At Play recorded Out Patients for Japo Records, featuring Wayne Darling on bass, Bill Elgart on drums and percussion, Roger Jannotta on tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, oboe, flute, and whistle, and Tom van der Geld on vibraphone. The album, the fourth by Children At Play, was also their final release.
The LP includes five original compositions, a pair by Tom van der Geld and one each by the other group members. This includes the opener, “Things Have Changed,” and “I Hope It’s You,” the final cut, both by Tom van der Geld as well as Bill Elgart’s “How Gently Sails the Moon Twixt the Arbour and the Bough (and the World is Waiting for the Sun),” Roger Jannotta’s “Dreamer,” and Wayne Darling’s “Ballade matteotti.”
Like the the second and third Children At Play albums, Out Patients was recorded at Tonstudio Bauer in Ludwigsburg, Germany. The July 1980 session was produced by Steve Lake and the band, with Martin Wieland handling the engineering duties.
The last track on the LP, “I Hope It’s You,” is based on the following poem with the same title by Tom van der Geld.
I wonder what would be if you could know the same as me then we could speak about no-thing and other things Was it you? was it me? who said that if two people think the same then one of them is unnecessary. Well if that's true, my friend, I hope it's you.
At this time, a video for the Tom van der Geld composition “Things Have Changed” is the only album cut available online.
Tom van der Geld and Children At Play’s “Things Have Changed,” featuring Wayne Darling on bass, Bill Elgart on drums and percussion, Roger Jannotta on bass clarinet, and Tom van der Geld on vibraphone, is on YouTube:
Tom van der Geld recently discussed the making of Out Patients, and some of the highlights of his career in music, in an exclusive interview that is found on this site. Here’s an excerpt:
Blue Note: How did you meet Bill Elgart [who was also the drummer on the second Children At Play album Patience in 1978]?
Tom van der Geld: I first met Bill in 1975 in the free jazz scene in Boston – I had returned from Germany and was teaching at the Berklee School of Music again. There were some great “free“ players in Boston at this time: Bill Elgart, George Garzon, Rich Appleman, John Licata, John Damian, Skip Potter, Stan Strickland, John Voigt… just to name a few. I quickly identified with this scene and had a great time playing with these guys
BN: Was Out Patients the first time you worked with bassist Wayne Darling?
TG: Wayne rounded-out the group as our main bass player [on the fourth Children At Play album]. I never had heard of Wayne.
BN: How did you meet him?
TG: At some point he contacted me in Salzburg and sent me his résumé (!). We rehearsed there a short time later, and he remained in the group until 1981.
BN: Do you remember any details about making the album?
TG: Not actually. Steve Lake produced this album… he was great to work with.
I was rather unhappy with my own performance on this production, and it took 30 years before I could really hear and appreciate what an amazing group (and production) this really was.
The album, pressed in West Germany in 1980, has never been reissued in any format and there are no indications this will change anytime soon. However, motivated fans can usually find a used copy of the out of print LP at a reasonable price at music marketplaces like Discogs or Amazon. Alternatively, a reference copy of each is currently available at Musica degradata, a website dedicated to high quality broadcast recordings and out of print vinyl. Click the album covers in this article to access the MP3 files.
Further information about Out Patients is found in Tyran Grillo’s definitive look at the album for ECM Reviews 8 July 2014. A paragraph examining Bill Elgart’s composition is here:
“Yet nothing in the program surpasses Elgart’s “How Gently Sails The Moon Twixt The Arbour And The Bough (And The World Is Waiting For The Sun,” a tune as epic as its title, and one that adds some groove to the band’s loose equation. Smooth yet crisp, and brimming with a chamber jazz aesthetic, it explores a wide dynamic range, with a memorable midsection in which delicate utterances ripple through the quartet. Jannotta (now on alto) lends mystical qualities to the scene, finding scratchy-throated catharsis in the unfolding. Interpretive diffusions all around show a group becoming more unified the wilder it gets: proof that, at least in musical terms, letting go will sometimes be the key to being found.”
An audio file of Tom van der Geld and Children At Play’s recording of “How Gently Sails the Moon Twixt the Arbour and the Bough (and the World is Waiting for the Sun),” the second track on Out Patients, is on SoundCloud:
Note: If any legal rights holders object to the posting of this out of print and currently unavailable track ripped from this correspondent’s personal collection, please drop a line and it will be removed immediately.
More Music from Tom van der Geld and Children At Play
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1947, vibes player Tom van der Geld is best known as the founder of Children At Play. Over the years, he has performed with the likes of Bob Brookmeyer, Keith Copeland, Peter Herbolzeimer, Albert Mangelsdorf, Charlie Mariano, Luis de Mateo, Barre Philips, Manfred Schoof, John Taylor, Eduard Vesala, Kenny Wheeler, and many other top players at jazz festivals across Europe.
In the early 1970s, Tom van der Geld started the first Children At Play group with pianist Larry Porter, reedman Roger Jannotta, bassist Richard Appleman, and drummer Jamey Haddad. The quintet recorded the debut Children At Play album at Renaissance Studios in Maynard, Massachusetts in 1973–released on Japo Records in 1975.
Children At Play’s “Wandering I,” the second track on their debut album, featuring Richard Appleman on bass, Jamey Haddad on drums, Roger Jannotta on reeds and percussion, Larry Porter on piano and percussion, and Tom van der Geld on vibraphone and percussion, is online:
The next year, Tom van der Geld moved to Germany. He soon invited drummer Bill Elgart to join him in Europe and the two joined fellow New Englanders Roger Jannotta and Kent Carter to record the second Children At Play album Patience in Austria in 1977.
In 1979, Path, the third Children At Play album was released by ECM Records. This was the only one of their four LPs which was credited to Tom van der Geld exclusively, although the two other members of the trio, guitar player Bill Connors and Roger Jannotta, who played flute, oboe, and soprano saxophone on the album, are both listed prominently on the cover.
Unfortunately, like Out Patients, the remaining three Children At Play vinyl albums are out of print and have never been reissued in any format. A handful of tracks have recently been uploaded to the Internet, including “One” and “Joujou” from the Path LP.
“One,” featuring Bill Connors on guitar, Roger Jannotta on flute, soprano saxophone, and oboe, and Tom van der Geld on vibraharp, is on YouTube:
Born in Perry, Iowa in 1945, Wayne Darling started playing the double bass at age 13. He studied at Drake and Ball State University before earning a doctorate at North Texas State University. In 1974, Wayne Darling moved to Austria to be taught by Ludwig Streicher.
Wayne Darling has appeared on over 60 CDs and LPs with numerous players of note, including Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Friedrich Gulda, Joe Henderson, Shelia Jordan, Barney Kessel, Henry Mancini, Charlie Mariano, Barre Phillips, and Monika Stadler. Darling made three albums with Sun Dial, a trio with Peter O’Mara and Bill Elgart that began in 1983, and a fourth when it was extended to a quartet with Kenny Wheeler in 1987.
Bill Elgart appears on Wayne Darling and Peter Sonntag’s Bass-Force in 1983 and Darling’s The Art of the Bass, Vol. 1 released in 2002. The pair also played on Yuko Gulda’s Mellow Sky in 1984, Lee Harper’s Live At 50! in 1995, and Jim Pepper Trio’s Polar Bear Stomp in 2003, among other albums. Wayne Darling is currently a professor emeritus for double bass at the University School of Music in Graz, Austria.
On 17 February 2005, bassists Wayne Darling, Árni Egilsson, and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, pianist Fritz Pauer, and drummer John Hollenbeck performed live in Vienna:
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1943, American multi-instrumentalist Roger Jannotta earned a bachelor’s of art at the University of New Mexico in 1965 before moving to the East Coast to continue his music studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston, receiving a master’s degree in 1976. Jannotta was also a lecturer at the Berklee College of Music in this time period. In the early 1970s, he also first met Tom van der Geld, who was a student as well as a tutor at Berklee from 1971 to 1973. Roger Jannotta then joined Tom van der Geld as the only other band member to play on all four Children At Play albums–the first recorded in Massachusetts and the last three in Germany.
In 1978, Roger Jannotta moved to Munich, where he was a member of the ICI Ensemble Munich and, since the beginning of the 1990s, The Carla Bley Big Band. He’s worked with Michael Mantler and Thorsten Klentze, among others, and since 2007, Jannotta has conducted the Passau Jazz Orchestra. As a theatrical musician, he has composed and arranged music for documentaries, television programs, and films, as well as working as a radio play composer for Bavarian Radio. Roger Jannotta currently teaches at the Neue Jazzschool in Munich.
Like band mate Bill Elgart, Roger Jannotta has released scores of albums including at least one each decade from the sixties to the 2010s. This includes the pair with Tom van der Geld, Patience and Out Patients. In 2015, Roger Jannotta, guitarist Thorsten Klentze, and bassist Paul Tietze recorded Klentze Jannotta Tietze for Konnex Records.
The Thorsten Klentze Quintet and Marika Falk were recorded live in 2007, featuring Charlie Mariano on alto saxophone, Jost H. Heckeron on cello, Roger Jannotta on tenor and soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, and flute, and Klentze on guitar, with Marika Falk on cachon, talking drum, dombac, darabuka, and gattam:
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942, Bill Elgart first made a name in New York’s New Jazz Scene in the mid-1960s, playing with Carla Bley, Marion Brown, Mike Nock, Sam Rivers, and was a member of the New York Art Quartet, along with Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai, and Eddie Gomez. In 1968, Bill Elgart joined Paul Bley and Gary Peacock on Mr. Joy, Elgart’s recording debut. A detailed rundown of Bill Elgart’s career in music is found on this site under “bio.”
Among recent recordings, Bill Elgart joined vibraphonist Dizzy Krisch, bassist Karoline Höfler, and guest vocalist Lauren Newton on their 2016 Lonely Woman album released by JazzHausMusik.
A closer look at Krisch – Höfler – Elgart featuring Lauren Newton’s Lonely Woman album on this site includes several videos as well as an exclusive interview with bass player Karoline Höfler. See the “albums” section at the top of the page.
“Setup” from Krisch-Höfler-Elgart’s Lonely Woman, with Dizzy Krisch on vibraphone, Karoline Höfler on bass, and Bill Elgart on drums, composed by Krisch, is online. Note that album guest vocalist Lauren Newton does not appear on this track:
Select Discography of Tom van der Geld
- Between – Hesse Between Music (1974)
- Tom van der Geld and Children At Play – Children At Play (1975) Japo Records
- Bobby Stern & Head, Heart and Hands – Libra (1976) Vertigo
- Between – Contemplation (1977)
- Tom van der Geld and Children At Play – Patience (1978) ECM Records
- Tom van der Geld – Path (1979) ECM Records
- Karl Berger, Dave Friedman, Tom van der Geld, & Wolfgang Lackerschmid – Vibes Summit (1979) MPS Records
- Tom van der Geld and Children At Play – Out Patients (1980) Japo Records
- Kenny Wheeler – Around 6 (1980) ECM Records
- Tom van der Geld – Small Mountain: Marimba Music – Music For Four Marimbas (1986)
- Peter Michael Hamel and Die Gruppo Between – Hesse Between Music (Dichtung & Musik) (1989)
- Frank Haunschild – Looking Forward (1997)
- Frank Haunschild & Tom van der Geld – Getting Closer (1998) (Reissue 2009) Acoustic Music
- Tom Van der Geld – Watching The Waves (2009) Rodenstein Records
- Tom van der Geld et al. – Play “Chill Out” – Select Your Style, Vol. 1 (2014) Walkin ‘Rhyth’m Records compilation
personal website [German and English]
Tom van der Geld Audio Sampler
A compilation of music by Tom van der Geld that includes “Blame It On My Youth” from the 2014 Play ‘Chill Out’ – Select Your Style, Vol. 1 compilation on Walkin ‘Rhyth’m Records as well as “Eevee” and “Joujou” from his 1979 Path album on ECM Records is on SoundCloud.