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Bill Watrous

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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)

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Article: Album Review

Sue Maskaleris: Love is the Key

Read "Love is the Key" reviewed by Geannine Reid


Jazz composer Sue Maskaleris has quite the arsenal of skills in her toolbox. A pianist, vocalist, and crack lyricist, she bestows wry wit in her approach to writing that harkens to Dave Frishberg. Maskaleris is a product of the rich hummus of New York schools. She studied arranging with Don Sebesky and composition at Manhattan School ...

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Article: Profile

US Military Service Bands: Histories & Heroes

Read "US Military Service Bands: Histories & Heroes" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 US Air Force Airmen of Note The premier jazz ensemble of the US Air Force, the Airmen of Note is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The US Air Force Band. Created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Major Glenn Miller's Army Air Forces ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

June Birthdays Featuring Reginald Workman, NEA Jazz Master

Read "June Birthdays Featuring Reginald Workman, NEA Jazz Master" reviewed by Marc Cohn


June jazz birthdays! Our featured honoree is bassist Reggie Workman, 82 years young, who got a fine birthday present: a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award. So, we have three tracks from his own recordings, which may surprise you. One features Andrew Hill and Julian Priester. Other birthday honors include Marcus Belgrave (Horace ...

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Article: Year in Review

In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2018

Read "In Memoriam: Jazz Musicians Who Passed in 2018" reviewed by Maxim Micheliov


As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to remember the extraordinarily gifted musicians who made an indelible mark on jazz. With sadness, we bid farewell to NEA Jazz Masters Bob Dorough, Nancy Wilson and Cecil Taylor as well as trumpeters Hugh Masekela, Tomasz Stanko, Jerry González and Roy Hargrove.

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Article: Catching Up With

Gary Urwin: Inside the Mind of an Arranger

Read "Gary Urwin: Inside the Mind of an Arranger" reviewed by Rob Wood


The arranger of music scores is as important as a crankshaft in an engine. Yet many are destined to live in the shadows. Ralph Carmichael was subsumed by the luster of Stan Kenton. Arranger Paul Riser, who wrote the opening bars to “Dancing in the Street," is a virtual unknown. And then there is ...

News: Obituary

Bill Watrous (1939-2018)

Bill Watrous (1939-2018)

Bill Watrous, a jazz trombonist who came up in the 1960s just as jazz was fading and the trombone was transitioning into studio orchestras and funk-soul groups such as the Jazz Crusaders and Kool and the Gang, died on July 2, 2018. He was 79. Watrous's finest work was on ballads. His singing trombone style on ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Ralph Hepola

Read "Take Five with Ralph Hepola" reviewed by Ralph Hepola


About Ralph Hepola Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the United States, Ralph Hepola studied piano before starting on the tuba at age twelve. At seventeen, he was chosen to play before the British Royal Family in the Manitoba All-Province Band at Brandon, Manitoba in Canada. While still in high school, Ralph began performing ...

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Article: Bailey's Bundles

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 5 & 6

Read "Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 5 & 6" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Omnivore Records concludes its remastering and re-release of Art Pepper's Yupiteru (later to become Atlas Records) recordings volumes 5 and 6, featuring, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, and drummer Shelly Manne, respectively. To date, the label has remastered and released four volumes: Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions" Volumes 1: Sonny Stitt (2017); Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast ...

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Article: Big Band Report

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 3-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 3-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow


Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival Big Band Spectacular LAX Westin Hotel Los Angeles, CA May 24-28, 2017 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Saddleback Jazz Combo The young Saddleback five piece jazz combo featured a tenor and baritone sax ...


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