Russell Watrous III, 8 June 1939, Middletown, Connecticut, USA.
Although Watrous took some formal musical tuition and also learned
trombone from his father, he was largely self-taught. After playing
in semi-professional bands, he studied with Herbie Nichols before
turning full-time in the early 60s. He played in bands led by
artists such as Billy Butterfield, Kai Winding, Maynard Ferguson
and Woody Herman. In the late 60s and early 70s he was a studio
musician in New York, but kept his jazz career alive playing in
several bands for club and record dates. He also formed his own
big band, colourfully named Manhattan Wildlife Refuge Big Band,
which included Wayne Andre (trombone), Danny Stiles (trumpet),
Dick Hyman (piano) and Ed Soph (drums). Relocated in Los Angeles
from the mid-70s onwards, he continued to work in studios but
made records with Stiles and others. He also toured Europe, performing
1980 he teamed up with trombonists Winding and Albert Mangelsdorff
to form Trombone Summit. At the end of 1996, his big band, renamed
Refuge West to suit the California location, recorded Space Available.
A dazzling technician with an endless supply of intriguing ideas
and concepts, Watrous is one of the most formidable of all contemporary
trombonists. His feeling for jazz runs deep and he has never allowed
his work to be tainted by the use of technique for its own sake.
Bone Straight Ahead (Famous Door 1972)***, Manhattan Wildlife
Refuge (Columbia 1974)****, The Tiger Of San Pedro (Columbia 1975)****,
Watrous In Hollywood (1978)**, Funk'n Fun (1979)***, I'll Play
For You (Famous Door 1980)***, Coronary Trombossa (Famous Door
1980)***, La Zorra (1980)***, Bill Watrous In London: Live At
The Pizza Express (Mole 1982)****, Roarin' Back To New York, New
York (Famous Door 1982)***, Someplace Else (Soundwings 1986)***,
Reflections (Soundwings 1987)***, Bone-Ified (GNP 1992)***, A
Time For Love (GNP Crescendo 1993)***, Space Available (Double-Time
1997)****, Live At The Blue Note 1998 recording (Half Note 2000)***.