Yes!Those of us of a "certain age" fondly remember his two Manhattan Wildlife Refuge albums from the mid-1970s.
Amen. I’ve a friend that has been playing bass trombone for 50+ years, that had a shoulder rebuild a couple years ago. Tough. Committed.Maybe it wasn't as effortless as it looked. Trombone-playing isn't for the faint of heart and he kept it up at an incredibly high level into his 70s...
Rackety - I guess you and I are of that same certain age, LOL. Watrous and members of the Manhattan Wildlife Refuge did a clinic and concert for area high school stage bands in NJ in the early 70's which my HS band took part in. The concert at night was terrific. I can recall a few weeks later playing the "MWR" recording for our band's piano player's Father (himself a Bass player) who refused to believe that Watrous wasn't playing a valve trombone. He could articulate that fast and that cleanly. Beautiful tone too!Those of us of a "certain age" fondly remember his two Manhattan Wildlife Refuge albums from the mid-1970s. Less well-known: in the mid-1960s he did a couple of easy-listening albums, one called "In Love Again" under the name William Russell Watrous and the other, with The Walter Raim Concept, "Love Themes For The Underground, The Establishment & Other Sub Cultures Not Yet Known." Oh yeah.
His NY Times obit mentions that he almost joined a minor league baseball team when he was in his 40s.
He was so fluid with incredible range, speed, and lyricism, and he made it all look completely effortless. He also tended to blather endlessly when he was fronting a big band, which I heard him do on a few occasions. I always had the feeling he was trying to play as little as possible, or maybe rest as much as possible between numbers. Maybe it wasn't as effortless as it looked. Trombone-playing isn't for the faint of heart and he kept it up at an incredibly high level into his 70s and for all I know basically until the end of his life.