Obituaries

Bill Watrous, trombonist and bandleader, dies at 79

NEW YORK — Bill Watrous, whose crisp and graceful playing made him one of the world’s most respected trombonists, died July 3 at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 79.

A Connecticut native, Mr. Watrous was heard on studio recordings by artists including Quincy Jones, Prince, and Frank Sinatra. But over a nearly 50-year career as a bandleader, he also released more than a dozen albums under his own name, spotlighting his eloquent playing in a range of contexts.

For a time in the 1970s he led a jazz-rock big band, Manhattan Wildlife Refuge, which released two albums. He contributed to albums by the likes of Woody Herman, Milton Nascimento, and Chick Corea.

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He also taught at the University of Southern California for two decades, retiring in 2015.