Trombonist Bill Watrous died yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 79. Celebrated for his skill, range and speed, Watrous employed those attributes in a career that began with Billy Butterfield and included work with the big bands of Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Johnny Richards. In the early 1970s he recorded with his own big band, Manhattan Wildlife Refuge. Fellow trombonists admired Watrous for his technical achievement, but they may have envied him equally for his way with ballads. One of his best known performances was of “A Time For Love” from his album of Johnny Mandel compositions.
Bill Watrous, RIP