Monday, 10 November 2008

Bill Watrous - Manhattan Wildlife Refuge + discog

Manhattan Wildlife Refuge


94.1 MB
256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Columbia KC 33090

Recently Dr. Johnny Fever over at everything is on the one posted a great LP by Curtis Fuller for the shad shack and made a comment about the rarity of albums led by trombonists (check out the Trombone Album Gallery and Funderbone for some lists). That was the impetus for dusting off this excellent effort by one of the world's best 'boners, Bill Watrous. In fact, he literally wrote the book on trombone playing. Well, two of 'em at least...

If you appreciated the Buddy Rich album posted prior to this on Soundological, you're gonna love this set since there's a lot of crossover between the two, and not only due to being recorded the same year in the same town. Among the synchronicity: Joe Beck plays guitar on both, Dean Pratt got his start with Buddy's band and spent the 70s revolving around several big band outfits (such as Buddy, Bill, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Clark Terry) as did Soph, Gauvin and
Perkowsky, the latter of whom was not as active in the day but has recently recorded a handful of albums with Mike Longo (check never enough rhodes for all your Longo needs).

Beyond those big band regulars, you've also got some NY session men who often played on CTI and Kudu sides such as Gatchell and Wayne Andre, another T-Rex of the T-Bone and member of discojazz giants The Players Association. Last but not least, you've got Lagond who was one of Kid Creole's Coconuts. Oh, and kickass keyboardist Dick Hyman just kills it on this album, especially when he's rockin' the Moog..."Ayo" has one of the dopest monosynth solos I've heard in a jazz context!

I prefer this one over Roar of '74 since Bill's boyish laid-back and open vibe, focus on accessibility, superb soloing support from the crew and the lack of an egotistical taskmaster for a bandleader make it a much more enjoyable listening experience. Where Roar is more like a handful bennies washed down with a few rye and cokes and a half-pack of smokes, Manhattan Wildlife Refuge is a nice fat blunt enjoyed with
some 12 year-old single-malt scotch.

AMG Review by Scott Yanow
Manhattan Wildlife Refuge and its follow-up, The Tiger of San Pedro, are the only two recordings of trombonist Bill Watrous' impressive big band of the mid-'70s. Watrous, who takes an uncharacteristically crazy cadenza on "Fourth Floor Walk-Up," is in top form on such numbers as Chick Corea's "Spain," "Dichotomy," and "Zip City." Among his more notable sidemen are trumpeter Danny Stiles, guitarist Joe Beck, and pianist Dick Hyman. Available on CD as of July 2007, this reissue has been well worth waiting for.

Bill Watrous
- Trombone, Arranger, Producer
Dick Hyman - Synthesizer, Piano, Fender Rhodes
Joe Beck - Guitar
John David Miller
- Bass
Ed Soph
- Percussion, Drums
Danny Stiles - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Soloist
George Triffon
- Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Dean Pratt - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
John Gatchell - Trumpet
Alan Gauvin - Flute, Soprano Sax
Ed Xiques
- Flute, Alto & Soprano Sax
Charles Lagond - Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Sax
Frank Perowsky
- Clarinet, Flute, Soprano & Tenor Sax
Wayne Andre - Trombone
Joe Petrizzo - Trombone
Joe Randazzo
- Trombone, Bass Trombone
Charles Small
- Trombone

1 Spain
2 Sho
3 Dichotomy
4 Zip City
5 Fourth Floor Walk-Up
6 Dee Dee
7 Ayo

Here's Bill performing "Spain" at the Down Beat winner's poll TV special
the following year with Chick, Hubert Laws, George Benson, Ron Carter and Lenny White (thanks for rectifying Hanimex!).

Bill's discog as band leader/front man:

196? In Love Again

196? Love Themes for The Underground, The Establishment
& Other Sub Cultures Not Yet Known

1972 Bone Straight Ahead

1974 Manhattan Wildlife Refuge
at Soundological (mp3) and Call It Anything (FLAC)

1975 The Tiger of San Pedro
at Call It Anything (FLAC)

1979 Funk 'n' Fun

1979 Watrous In Hollywood

1980 I'll Play for you

1980 Coronary Trombossa
at andersonmark

1980 La Zorra

1982 Bill Watrous in London

1982 Roarin' Back into New York, New York

1984 Bill Watrous & Carl Fontana
at andersonmark

1986 Someplace Else

1987 Reflections
at chezmateo

1992 Bone-Ified
buy here

1993 Time for Love
buy here

1996 Space Available
buy here

2000 Live at the Blue Note Half Note
buy here

2003 Live
with the Temple Jazz Orchestra

buy here

2003 Living in the Moment
with The Gary Urwin Jazz Orchestra

2003 Mad to the Bone
with The Rob Stoneback Big Band

2004 Live In Living Comfort

2006 Kindred Spirits
with The Gary Urwin Jazz Orchestra

2007 Bill Watrous
(reissue of I'll Play For You)

NB: "buy here" links take you directly to artists' sites

While looking around for more BW just before posting, noticed that Call It Anything had posted this last year in FLAC format but if you're looking for mp3, Soundological has it HERE or HERE.


Solomon said...

Thank you.

Hanimex 3000 said...

Tremendous work. Didn't know some Turbo exemplars of our french R5 have been available in the States (1984 album sleeve)!

Just a little rectification about this post : Billy Cobham doesn't appear on the down beat video : it's Lenny White!
What a fantastic bunch of performers... The most stunning point is their economy of gestures when they play such serpentine ideas... especially Benson.


cheeba said...

Thanks for commenting guys, glad you enjoyed.

Hanimex, appreciate the feedback. I knew when I was watching it that it couldn't be Cobham (as it was listed where I found this) but didn't know who it was so went with what I had. I've corrected the post and owe you a big thanks for pointing it out!

BTW, I've never seen actually seen one of those Renault models on the street but it looks like Bill's diggin' it. Check him pointing at it! Carl doesn't seem too impressed though...

Steve said...

Great post, great blog and great video!
I think thats Stanley Clarke on the bass though, not Ron Carter.

cheeba said...

Thanks for the comments Steve and I think you're right. That line up was what was listed on the original post I found on YouTube. After you pointed it out, I took a closer look and I I'd have to say it was Stanley.

N.D. said...

thanks for this one.

cheeba said...

You're welcome ND!

BSB said...

hey, thanks, you.