Thanksgiving 2017


Juan Calderin is a gifted former student of mine, and a promising young composer. He was kind enough to turn a composition assignment exploring the capabilities bass trombone from a “dead end” to a thing of beauty for the noble instrument in an unaccompanied setting. Juan’s further generosity has enabled me to present this work to you here-enjoy!

Sackgasse2 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 Elgart.

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 anyone 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 Butterfield, 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-leader with his brother, Les. For bass a trombonist, Larry’s band 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 soloist 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!

32 Happy BirthdayJust a reminder, we have offered free music in the past. For your convenience, the Stereograms and solos for bass trombone have been listed below. Some are quite timely for the holidays…..enjoy!


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!

1. Stereogram No. 1, “Pankow”,

2. Stereogram No. 11, “Miami”

3. Link to Stereogram No. 31, “How Great Thou Art”

4. Stereogram No. 33, “The Star Spangled Banner”

5. 36 Final36 Final 2

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)

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!

Stereogram No. 40 - Silver Bells

Silent Night, Stereogram No. 38

We Three Kings, Stereogram No. 32

Jingle Bells, Stereogram No. 39


Intorductory Stereogram Letter 'A'


What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with free bass trombone music?

In case you missed last year’s arrangement of “Jingle Bells” for solo bass trombone, this is you chance to catch up! Read more…

BonacossaThis Thanksgiving we are delighted to present “In Principio Erat Sonus” by Federico Bonacossa. This new work for bass trombone and electric guitar was premiered by DUO BRUBECK and dedicated to its founding members-David Brubeck and Tom Lippincott on November 6th, 2014. Read more about the exciting composer, guitarist and member of The Miami Guitar Trio here…

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Bonacossa, we are able to offer it free on the web. Enjoy!

















This Article c. 2014 David W. Brubeck All Rights Reserved

“In Principio Erat Sonus” c. Federico Bonacossa 2014 All Rights

MUSIC FROM DONALD BOWYER 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 50th birthday, and commissioned by Von Graves. Enjoy!

50-50 Trombone Triathlon-1

50-50 Trombone Triathlon 003

BowyerDon 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, for an account of the eleventh!

2013-05-03 Composition List Sheet1

Bowyer and his wife, Donna, have also served as foster parents, having provided a home to eighteen foster children between 2003 and 2010.

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