Tuesday, June 10, 2014
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bill Watrous Big Band
Trombonist Bill Watrous has been a sideman and studio musician since the 60s. And he's led his own big band since the 70s. Space Available was released in 1995. He was born June 8, 1939 in Middletown, CT. His father played trombone so Watrous learned to play at a very early age. While serving in the US Navy, he studied with jazz pianist Herbie Nichols. In the 60s, he spent several years in trombonist Kai Winding's band and also played with Quincy Jones, Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman. Watrous also played trombone in The Merv Griffin Show band. He also played with the jazz rock group Ten Wheel Drive. Then Watrous formed The Manhattan Wildlife Refuge Big Band and recorded two highly acclaimed albums for Columbia Records. This was around the time Columbia president Clive Davis left Columbia to start Arista Records and Watrous was dropped when new management came in. Watrous moved from New York to Los Angeles in the late 70s because studio work had dried up in New York. Watrous records occasionally but mostly he does a lot of studio work. And he's a professor at USC Thornton School of Music. Space Available was released in 1995. The song was written and arranged by Tom Kubis. Kubis plays trombone but he is mainly known as an arranger. Other arrangements on the album were written by pianist Shelly Berg, sax player Gordon Goodwin, Ken Kaplan and Frank Perowsky. Watrous, Kubis, Berg and Goodwin have worked together on various projects since the 70s. This album is not available on CD but it is available on mp3. Watrous hasn't recorded as a leader since 2004. But he still records as a sideman and studio musician. Here's Bill Watrous performing Space Available from the 1983 VHS video In Concert. The sax solo is by Gordon Goodwin. This video has never been released on DVD.