In 2002, bassist and composer Wayne Darling’s The Art Of The Bass, Vol. 1 featuring fellow bass players Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and Árni Egilsson, Fritz Pauer on piano, and Bill Elgart on drums, was released by Laika Records.
The international ensemble collaborated on ten tracks including: “Bass Encounters,” “Stinky Pooh!,” “Here I Am,” “Basses Three-O,” “Speak Low,” “O Tysta Ensamhet,” “No Moe,” “Future Child,” “St. Thomas,” and “To Dorette.”
Árni Egilsson’s “Stinky Pooh!,” the second track, featuring Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Árni Egilsson, and Darling on bass, Fritz Pauer on piano, and Bill Elgart on drums, is on YouTube:
Group leader Wayne Darling first appeared on vinyl with fellow American Bill Elgart on Out Patients in 1980. The free jazz album by Tom van der Geld’s Children At Play, also features Bill Connors and Roger Jannotta.
Wayne Darling and Bill Elgart were also two-thirds of the influential trio Sun Dial, a group that included Australian guitarist Peter O’Mara.
Sun Dial’s vinyl trilogy includes Sun Dial in 1985 and Illiad in 1986, both released on Austrian label Rst Records, and O’Mara-Darling-Elgart in 1988, released on Germany’s Core Records.
Kurt Weil’s original composition “Speak Low,” performed by a quartet featuring bassists Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and Árni Egilsson, Fritz Pauer on piano, and Bill Elgart on drum, is here:
In 1990, trumpet and flugelhorn player Kenny Wheeler joined the trio for a fourth album entitled Kenny Wheeler, Peter O’Mara, Wayne Darling, Bill Elgart on Koala Records. This is one of several albums Bill Elgart has made with the Canadian horn player and band leader including Flutter By, Butterfly, now available from Soul Note in vinyl, CD, and digital format.
Of the aforementioned releases with Wayne Darling and Bill Elgart, only The Art Of The Bass, Vol. 1 is currently available as a digital download. The Laika Records album is also available in CD format. The O’Mara-Darling-Elgart and Kenny Wheeler – Peter O’Mara – Wayne Darling – Bill Elgart albums were issued in CD.
However, neither of the three Sun Dial LPs nor the Children At Play (or any other of the four Tom van der Geld-led) vinyl albums has ever been released as a digital download. Hopefully, this oversight will be corrected sooner than later. For now, music fans with turntables can still find most if not all of these vinyl albums at decent prices at online retailers like Discogs.com and auction sites including eBay worldwide.
Árni Egilsson’s “To Dorette,” the tenth track on The Art Of The Bass, Vol. 1, with bass players Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Egilsson, and Wayne Darling plus Fritz Pauer on piano and Bill Elgart on drums, is online:
More from the Musicians
Wayne Darling, Bassist
A retired professor for Jazz Bass at the University of Music-Graz, Austria, Wayne Darling has performed and/or recorded with numerous players of note, including Bob Brookmeyer, Árni Egilsson, Art Farmer, Joe Henderson, Woody Herman, Marc Johnson, Mel Lewis, Ed Neumesiter, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Jim Pepper, Barre Phillips, Olaf Polziehn, Monika Stadler, and Kenny Wheeler, to name a few.
Darling made three albums with Sun Dial, a trio with Peter O’Mara and Bill Elgart that began in 1983, and a fourth followed when it was extended to a quartet with Kenny Wheeler in 1987.
Bill Elgart appears on Wayne Darling Meets Peter Sonntag: 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 the Jim Pepper Trio’s Polar Bear Stomp in 2003, among other albums.
Three years before The Art Of The Bass, Vol. 1 was released, Wayne Darling and Árni Egilsson cut their Say What? album for S.O.S. Music.
The album is currently available as a digital download.
Árni Egilsson’s composition “Bass Strut,” the opening track of Say What?, featuring both Wayne Darling and Egilsson on bass, is on YouTube:
In early 2005, Darling and Egilsson teamed up with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen for a series of live performances called Bass Encounters.
Árni Egilsson, Bassist
Bassist Árni Egilsson, originally from Iceland, has been a musician based in the United States since the early 1970s when he started out doing studio work for albums as diverse as Tom Waits’ Closing Time (1973), Jaco Pastorius’ Word Of Mouth (1981), and Earth, Wind, and Fire’s Powerlight (1983). On the classical front, he has worked with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and André Previn. Egilsson is also a well known educator who continues to hold jazz workshops in America and Europe.
In 1979, Árni Egilsson recorded Basso Erectus for Iceland’s Hljómplötuútgáfan label–released the next year on America’s Inner City Records.
A live performance of “Why” for String Quartet, written and conducted by Árni Egilsson, is on YouTube. The 1996 chamber music concert at the South Pasadena Library in California showcases the Arnaeus Ensemble: Endré Granat, first violin, Richard Altenbach, second violin; Janet Lakatos, viola; Douglas Davis, cello; and Árni Egilsson on the String Quintet numbers played by the ensemble:
Bill Elgart, Drummer
Drummer Bill Elgart grew up in a musical family outside of Boston, Massachusetts. In the early 1960s, he studied with drumming legend Alan Dawson at the Berklee School of Music. Elgart has performed and recorded with musicians like Richie Beirach, Paul Bley, Kent Carter, Franco D’Andrea, Claudio Fasoli, Peter Fulda, Tom van der Geld, Geoff Goodman, Gianni Lenoci, Charlie Mariano, Barre Phillips, and Kenny Wheeler.
These days, when not playing or practicing, Bill Elgart is likely to be found in the classroom where he is an honorary professor at the University of Music, Würzburg (Hochschule für Musik Würzburg). Elgart first started teaching part-time more than 25 years ago.
Fritz Pauer, Pianist
Austrian pianist-composer Fritz Pauer began playing professionally in his teens, then moved to Germany in the early 1960s to lead his own ensembles. He played with musicians like saxophonists Booker Ervin and Dexter Gordon and trumpeter and flugelhorn player Art Farmer, and later became a university professor.
In 1987, Art Farmer played flugelhorn and Fritz Pauer piano on Azure. One track from this album, “If You Could See Me Now,” is on YouTube:
In 2010, Chico Freeman and The Fritz Pauer Trio released their double album The Essence of Silence on Austria’s Jive Music label, currently available in both CD and digital download.
Saxman Chico Freeman, pianist Fritz Pauer, bassist Johannes Strasser, and drummer Joris Dudli were captured live at a performance in Hildesheim, Germany on 24 February 2011:
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Bassist
Upright bass player Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen performed with many musical greats including sax players Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and Archie Shepp as well as trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Bill Evans.
Pedersen also worked with Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, and recorded more than 50 albums with pianist Kenny Drew.
An exceptional performance of “There Will Never Be Another You” showcases Bill Elgart’s former mentor Alan Dawson on drums, Sonny Rollins on sax, and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen on bass recorded live in Copenhagen in 1965:
On 4 October 1979, trumpeter-vocalist Chet Baker, guitarist Doug Raney, and bassist Pedersen were recorded live at the Montmartre Cafe Jazzhuss in Copenhagen.
The album that resulted, This Is Always, was released by the SteepleChase label in Pedersen’s native Denmark and the United States in 1982.
The Chet Baker Trio’s “Love For Sale,” with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen on bass, Doug Raney on guitar, and Baker on trumpet and vocals, is on SoundCloud:
More Info and Music
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen
A vinyl rip of Out Patients, Tom van der Geld and Children At Play’s 1980 vinyl LP featuring Bill Connors, Wayne Darling, Bill Elgart, and Roger Jannotta, is online. Click the picture below to access the MP3 file from Musica degradata.