Bill Watrous has long had one of the prettiest tones of any trombonist, especially in his impressive upper register. It is Watrous' beautiful sound that is emphasized during the nine Johnny Mandel compositions that comprise this CD. Watrous is accompanied by a big band and on some selections a string section but; other than pianist Shelly Berg (who along with Sammy Nestico contributed all of the arrangements), the backup crew is never allowed to rise above its anonymous supportive role. Watrous tries to vary the program a little with the inclusion of some earlier (and hotter) Mandel pieces such as the swinging "Low Life" and "Not Really the Blues" but otherwise this is a ballad showcase, highlighted by "Emily" and "The Shadow of Your Smile."
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow