In 1993, Donald Johnston’s There’s No Forgetting You album was released on Bhakti Records, featuring Wolfgang Lackerschmid on vibraphone, Rocky Knauer and Bill Crow on bass, Bill Elgart and Steve Little on drums, and Johnston on piano.
The album includes five compositions by Donald Johnston: the title piece, “Panorama,” “Take Off,” “In der parkstadt,” and “A Moment Ago.” Johnston also composed “Transatlantic Crossing” with Wolfgang Lackerschmid. Lackerschmid’s has a solo composition, too, “Es tugo.” Two final cuts by Götz Tangerding round out the album, “Moving” and “Why Can’t We Share What We Have?”
In the notes to the compositions in the booklet that accompanies the CD–the album is also now available as a digital download, Donald Johnston commented on “Moving,” a piece written in 1976:
“At the time of composing this piece, Götz was struggling with the hassles of moving from Boston to New York. Recently, having just moved out of New York myself, I decided to give the piece a new arrangement, which we perform here.”
“Moving,” composed by Götz Tangerding, features Donald Johnston on piano, Wolfgang Lackerschmid on vibes, Rocky Knauer on bass, and Bill Elgart on drums:
“Moving” is one of six tracks recorded at Katapult Studios in Karlsruhe, Germany. Five of these feature bassist Rocky Knauer and drummer Bill Elgart. “In der parkstadt,” the remaining cut, is a duo with pianist Donald Johnston and vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid.
In 1992, Donald Johnston composed “A Moment Ago,” in his own words:
“Written in celebration of my wife’s birthday, this song represents for me the poignant immediacy of a love that began in a moment nearly twenty years ago.”
Donald Johnston’s “A Moment Ago,” with Wolfgang Lackerschmid on vibes, Rocky Knauer on bass, Bill Elgart on drums–well supposedly as the drum track seems to have been misplaced, and Johnston on piano, is currently on YouTube:
Donald Johnston and Wolfgang Lackerschmid recorded two more piano/vibes duos in May 1992 at New York’s Nola Studios, “Transatlantic Crossing,” co-written by Johnston and Lackerschmid, and Lackerschmid’s “Es tugo.” Donald Johnston and Wolfgang Lackerschmid are also credited with producing the album.
Donald Johnston describes “Transatlantic Crossing” in the liner notes:
“This piano/vibes duo is a free improvisation celebrating German-American friendship through jazz.”
Donald Johnston and Wolfgang Lackerschmid’s “Transatlantic Crossing” is here:
Donald Johnston recorded the title track in New York, adding bassist Bill Crow and drummer Steve Little. Johnston described the piece, which he wrote ten years earlier:
“Composed on an afternoon in a mood of deep sadness, this song expresses the longing for a lost love.”
A video for Donald Johnston’s composition “There’s No Forgetting You,” featuring Bill Crow on bass, Wolfgang Lackerschmid on vibes, Steve Little on drums, and Johnston on piano, is the last remaining album cut currently found online:
More from Donald Johnston
One year after There’s No Forgetting You, Donald Johnston and Wolfgang Lackserschmid appeared on New Singer, New Songs 1994, with band members Beldon Bullock on bass and Yoron Israel on drums.
The Bhakti Records release also features guest vocalists Inaya Jafàn, Darius de Haas, and Valerie Carter plus guest musicians Randy Brecker on trumpet, Lawrence Feldman on tenor saxophone, Chuck Loeb on guitar, and John Lee on bass.
A video for vocalist Valerie Carter’s “Love You In The Night” is on YouTube:
More from Wolfgang Lackerschmid
In 1992, vibraphone player Wolfgang Lackerschmid released his One More Life album on the same German label. Among players on the album are drummer Bill Elgart, pianist Donald Johnston, and bassist Rocky Knauer on “No Greater Lunch.” Elgart also joins pianist Milcho Leviev and bassist Henning Sieverts on the opening four tracks of the album.
This album, first released in CD, is also now available as a download. However, none of the album cuts are currently found online.
Wolfgang Lackerschmid’s live solo performance of “One More Life” from Germany’s Jazzfestival Viersen 1992 is online:
In 1979, Wolfgang Lackerschmid joined trumpeter Chet Baker on their Ballads For Two album recorded at Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik, Germany.
Five more tracks cut by Chet Baker and Wolfgang Lackerschmid at the same sessions appear on their Artists Favor album released on Germany’s Hip Jazz label in 2008.
A video for Wolfgang Lackerschmid’s “Why Shouldn’t You Cry,” recorded by Chet Baker and Lackerschmid in 1979, is here:
More from Bill Elgart
In 2017, Bill Elgart joined trio leader and guitarist Christian Hassenstein and bassist Sven Schuster on their just released Cause and Consequence album on Germany’s DJAMtones label.
This site will be taking a closer look at this album in the near future.
For now, here’s a video for “Green” by the Krisch – Höfler – Elgart trio featuring vocalist Lauren Newton, with vibraphonist Dizzy Krisch, bassist Karoline Höfler, and drummer Bill Elgart.
This composition by Dizzy Krisch is also the opening track on their Lonely Woman album released by JazzHausMusik in 2016: