All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

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AndrewMeronek
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All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by AndrewMeronek » Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:31 pm

Can't help but love Watrous' playing. But, I kind of don't really love this recording. He's super-strong in the mix, making this sound more like a trombone solo with big band backgrounds than an integrated piece for jazz orchestra. 3:20-ish is even supposed to be a trombone section soli, and that kind of gets lost.

“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
boneapart
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by boneapart » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:53 pm

Great chart! Patrick Williams is one of the best arrangers.

I largely disagree with Andrew's comment. The piece is meant to feature solo trombone front and center--all the way you might say. The other horns are window dressing though the trumpets have space to assert themselves in places. Incidentally, the word "soli" doesn't appear on any of the trombones' parts. I hear only one spot (m.57-59) that might be considered a soli. Yes, he's at the top, but he's as mellow here as elsewhere.
AndrewMeronek
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by AndrewMeronek » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:08 am

boneapart wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:53 pm
I hear only one spot (m.57-59) that might be considered a soli.
M. 56-59 is marked "As written - soli w/section" in the solo part.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
Gary
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by Gary » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:11 am

Now, this is a sincere, not a snarky, question. What would Bill Watrous be without amplification?
Doug Elliott
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by Doug Elliott » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:24 am

Bill was capable of playing very loud - I heard him demonstrate that at a clinic in response to a question - but he chose to play soft with perfect control because it was more possible to sound the way he wanted and have endurance at the same time.
AndrewMeronek
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by AndrewMeronek » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:40 am

Gary wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:11 am
Now, this is a sincere, not a snarky, question. What would Bill Watrous be without amplification?
To be clear, I'm not complaining about his amplification or style at all. My criticism is more about the total production that makes him sound not like a part of the group. Maybe some of that is Watrous' choices, but maybe (and likely) also choices by the engineers and producers that led to this result. Recordings are almost never done in a "solo" vacuum. Of course, I don't really know any details of the production. I just have my opinions on the end result.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
Samdance
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by Samdance » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:39 pm

Andrew,

I love this entire CD, but I know what you mean. Most likely the choices in mix were made much later in the mixdown.

As far as the commentary on Watrous with or without a mic, this has been talked to death since the late 70's. Opinions are like earlobes, everyone has them.

I will say that having met and played with Bill more than a few times, sitting next to him was amazing.
AndrewMeronek
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by AndrewMeronek » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:08 pm

Samdance wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:39 pm
I will say that having met and played with Bill more than a few times, sitting next to him was amazing.
I don't doubt it! That dude could play.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
baileyman
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by baileyman » Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:48 pm

Doug Elliott wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:24 am
Bill was capable of playing very loud - I heard him demonstrate that at a clinic in response to a question - but he chose to play soft with perfect control because it was more possible to sound the way he wanted and have endurance at the same time.
Check out Kai Winding's "Dirty Dog" for pieces of Bill rivaling Urbie for the hot sound. And Urbie could blow the doors off.
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dershem
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by dershem » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:16 pm

Gary wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:11 am
Now, this is a sincere, not a snarky, question. What would Bill Watrous be without amplification?
Spectacular, that's what. I worked with Bill several times, and he cold play terrifylingly well without a mic. He just chose to use what was available to increase what he could get out of the horn the most efficiently.
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Re: All The Way: Bill Watrous/Patrick Williams Big Band

Post by Gary » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:02 pm

Thanks. I heard him play with the NT Lab Band and he was great but he was buried in the mike, so I've wondered.
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