davidbrubeck.com is pleased to continue our tradition of providing free music to our readers in celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States for the blessings of gratitude celebrated around the globe. “Happy Birthday” has been dedicated to one of the most recorded big band leaders in the history of jazz, and a personal favorite-Larry Elgar.
I had the pleasure of playing in Larry’s Band for about two years when he moved to Florida. The band he assembled was an all-star group from all over the state-Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, wherever. I remember playing with guitar great Jack Peterson and drummer Duffy Jackson, among others.
Larry was always a soft-spoken gentleman and a delight to work for. He played his alto saxophone as smoothly as any I had ever heard, and at a seductively rich sotto voce whisper, insisting that the saxophones do the same. The brass he let loose!
The arrangements were spectacular! Billy May and many great arrangers filled his unique library culled from the more than 50 albums Larry had recorded as a leader or as a co-leaader with his brother Les. For bass trombonists, it was a dream come true, and the written bass trombone solos picked up where the solo figures of Nelson Riddle left off. Very prominent, exposed, and often aggressive, the featured bass trombone was a clear signature of the band’s sound and a beautiful contrast to Larry’s alto.
Here’s to Larry, one of the greats!
SEVEN FREE STEREOGRAMS! (FROM STEREOGRAMS 1-20, 21-30, and beyond).
Drawing inspiration from the cello suites of J. S. Bach and vocalist Bobby McFerrin, David William Brubeck’s Stereograms have been performed and recorded throughout the globe. Though originally composed for bass trombone, almost all of the Stereograms have optional octave indications and work very well for euphonium, ‘cello, baritone, bassoon, and tenor trombone with ‘f’-attachment as well. (Separate editions have been transcribed for tuba and saxophone.)
CLick on each link below to access the music-and enjoy!
6. Stereogram No. 37, “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”-original
7. Stereogram No. 37A, “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”-(slightly higher and faster)
CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY STEREOGRAMS
I love to use melodies as part of my warm-ups, and at this time of year Christmas melodies are irresistible! This was an improvisation that I transcribed, and polished a bit. See if you can figure out the beginning tune. Feel free to substitute sixteenth notes for thirty-seconds; I play it both ways! Hopefully, a few of these Stereograms will find their way to Salvation Army kettles. Enjoy.
Stereogram No. 40 is dedicated to Donald Knaub, a wonderful man and musician. As a bass trombonist, and particularly with his solo recordings, his influence has been enormous. Merry Christmas, Don!
Silent Night, Stereogram No. 38
We Three Kings, Stereogram No. 32
Jingle Bells, Stereogram No. 39
INTRODUCTORY STEREOGRAMS A-M
MUSIC FROM DONALD BOWYER
davidbrubeck.com is delighted to continue the tradition of free music for bass trombone with Don Bowyer’s “50 + 50 Triathlon”, for unaccompanied bass trombone, goggles, racing number, and bicycle helmet. Don is a mutlifaceted musician and humanitarian who now makes his home in Arkansas. A gifted bass trombonist, music writer, and educator, Don has graciously allowed us to publish this miniature in three movements. Each movement includes 50 notes for the first 50 years and 50 more, for 50 50 fifty more! Written for Carolyn of her 5oth birthday, and commissioned by Von Graves. Enjoy!
Don Bowyer is Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Arkansas State University, having previously taught at every level from kindergarten through university in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Sweden. Bowyer received his Doctor of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado, his Master of Arts from California State University at Northridge, and his Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Active in the fields of composition, music technology, and performance, Bowyer has published more than 60 pieces of music, developed an educational computer program (which has been used in more than 120 countries), and has performed all over the globe. Among numerous performing credits, Bowyer spent five years playing trombone on eleven cruise ships in the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Gulf of Alaska. The first ten didn’t sink; see donbowyer.com/aground, for an account of the eleventh!
Bowyer and his wife, Donna, have also served as foster parents, having provided a home to eighteen foster children between 2003 and 2010.