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Bill Watrous

One of the finest bop-oriented trombonists of the past 30 years, Bill Watrous has had a low profile since moving to Los Angeles in the 1980s despite remaining quite active. Possessor of a beautiful tone and remarkable technique, Watrous has been constantly overlooked in jazz popularity polls of the past two decades. His father was a trombonist and introduced Bill to music. He played in traditional jazz bands as a teenager and studied with Herbie Nichols while in the military. Watrous made his debut with Billy Butterfield, and was one of the trombonists in Kai Winding's groups during 1962-1967. He was a busy New York-based studio musician during the 1960s, working and recording with Quincy Jones, Maynard Ferguson, Johnny Richards, and Woody Herman; playing in the television band for Merv Griffin's show (1965-1968); and working on the staff of CBS (1967-1969). After playing with the jazz-rock group Ten Wheel Drive in 1971, Watrous led his own big band (the Manhattan Wildlife Refuge) during 1973-1977, recording two superb albums for Columbia. After moving to Los Angeles in the late '70s, Watrous continued working in the studios, appearing at jazz parties, playing in local clubs, and leading an occasional big band. He has recorded as a leader for Columbia, Famous Door, Soundwings, GNP Crescendo, and with his late-'90s big band for Double-Time. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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Bill Watrous is undeniably one of the greats.... silky, smooth, warm, seemingly effortless playing ability in the upper octaves.... I kinda laughed when reading his bio, though... low profile since moving out to LA in the early '80s; constantly being passed over in the playing polls over the last 2 decades.... well, I've played with Bill and believe me, the only good things that come out of his mouth is when he's got it attached to his horn!!!
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Played with him at UNO. Just a awesome player
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Waltrous is good; but ain't nobody can touch Frank Rosolino.
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grat stuff
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Bill appeared with our high school stage band in 1978. It was an incredible experience I well remember even today!
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aldersonw
Are you kidding..... o n e of the all time best.....Bil l / D a n n y . . . j u s t a huge WOW!
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OMG Pandora, YOU are missing the boat if you dont include Bill's work with the Mahattan Wildlife Refuge - Bill's rendition of Spain is a MUST HEAR for any brass player. There is not a trombone player alive today who, after hearing Bill Watrous, who could say that they were not inspired or influenced by this man's undeniable virtuosity. Hearing Bill play live is an item on my bucket list.....com e to KC BILL!!!
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My respect to a great trombonist. As a musician and trombonist, I can tell just one thing. The trombone is the only brass instrument that is as difficult to play as a string instrument like the cello or, in the case of the bass trombone, like the four string bass. It's played by possitions and a good trained ear. And you also need great embrochure skills!
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Outstanding. His vocal with Snooky Young on 'Bix' is moving.
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Bill Watrous never ceases to amaze me with his effortless technicality , no matter how many times I listen.
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Bill Watrous--sor r y I confused your fabulous Bone on Time for Love with that of the great J.J--
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While doing studio work in New York did Bill work with my brother Jim Maxwell--lat e 50's early 60's--there were two Jimmie Maxwell's--b o t h excellant lead Trumpet players--my bro was from Hays, Kansas
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I'm ashamed to say--I've dug the jazz scene for over 75 years and this my first intro to Bill Watrous--wha t a fabulous technition-- I would like to acquire more biography--w h o was his dad etc. ? Where is Bill at present ? Has he cut any CD's ?
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I was in Chicago for a college jazz band festival in '73 where Bill was guest artist. His advice was to sing on your instrument, never forgot it.
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I was in Chicago for a college jazz band festival in '73 where Bill was guest artist. His advice was to sing on your instrument, never forgot it.
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hochstrb
Watrous' big band albums from his early years were some of his best: Manhattan Wildlife Refuge and The Tiger of San Pedro. Would really like to see these added.

Ben Hochstedler

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