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Album Review

While it is nearly impossible for jazz musicians to tour much at all as a big band, from time to time, units are assembled for memorable studio sessions such as the ones heard on Gary Urwin's Kindred Spirits. Most of the leader's charts were written to showcase veterans Bill Watrous (trombone) and Pete Christlieb (tenor sax, though he plays clarinet and flute as well in the ensemble passage), while he gathered some of the best players around Southern California as well. Jerry Goldsmith's rarely heard "Theme from 'Chinatown'" benefits from Urwin's superb scoring and Watrous' warm soloing. Urwin adds a nice touch to "Girl Talk," a swinging favorite from Count Basie's songbook, while the snappy treatment of "Beautiful Love" is another gem. The addition of harp and a trombone choir behind Watrous gives a new dimension to the old chestnut "Danny Boy." The touching finale is a subtle trio chart with pianist Christian Jacob setting up Christlieb and Watrous with a lush opening chorus and superb accompaniment.

Biography

Born: 08 June 1939 in Middletown, CT

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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...
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Kindred Spirits, Bill Watrous
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