Image of Nat Pierce at the piano.

Nat Pierce

(Piano, Arranger) 1925 - 1992

Nat Pierce was born July 16, 1925 in Somerville a suburb of Boston, Mass. He left high school in 1942 and spent a year at the New England Conservatory.

From 1943 to 1946 he played with various local bands as both pianist and then arranger. His first important job was in the bigband led by ex-Kenton trumpeter Ray Borden in late 1947. The Borden band faded and many of the musicians joined the reformed Larry Clinton Orchestra the following year which also failed. In this band was alto sax Charlie Mariano with whom Pierce formed an orchestra in 1949. This band made some reference recordings and briefly toured the New England area but folded in late 1950. Other than the solos of Charlie Mariano this Orchestra featured the singing of Teddi King.

The Pierce career is thereafter inextricably linked to the Woody Herman Bands which were current 1951-55 where he functioned as pianist/arranger and rehearsal master. Throughout the rest of the 50's he was active performing or arranging and recording with the very best in New York.

In 1960 he formed a rehearsal bigband which included Clark Terry, Paul Quinichette, and Paul Gonsalves and recorded his extended work "Ballad Of Jazz Street". He then rejoined Herman and was largely responsible for the "Swinging Herd" library. He remained with Herman until 1966 when he moved to Los Angeles. There he was active both with small and large jazz units and in 1977 he and drummer Frankie Capp formed Juggernaut Big Band using the best players in Hollywood and was dedicated to keep alive the music of Basie and Herman.

Nat Pierce was a wonderfully gregarious man and a comparative rarity amongst top jazz musicians in that he was a keen collector of all styles and schools and generous in praise of other players. He died in Los Angeles on June 10, 1992.

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Image of Hep CD13 - Nat Pierce - Boston Bust Out



"Boston Bust Out"

Collection of rare test pressings featuring Pierce arrangements with Charlie Mariano and vocals by Teddie King from 1949-51.

Titles - What Can I Say (After I'm Sorry) / What's New? / You Were Meant For Me / Paradise / King Edward The Flatted Fifth / Pat / That's The Kinda Girl / Sheba / Babylon / Indian Summer / King For A Day / Oh You Crazy Moon / Body And Soul / All The Things You Are / Boppin' In Boston / I Cover The Waterfront / Is This The Thing / Indian Summer / You May Not Love Me / Lonesome Crowd / Oh You Crazy Moon.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £8.99

Nat Pierce - "Indian Summer"

Image of Hep CD2004 - Nat Pierce Quintet with Mary Ann McCall and Bill Perkins - 5400 North


NAT PIERCE Quintet with Mary Ann McCall and Bill Perkins

"5400 North"

Concert performances with Bill Perkins, Dick Collins, Bob Saravia, Frankie Capp and Mary Ann McCall at the John Anson Ford Theatre, Los Angeles, 1978.

Titles - 5400 North / Pee Wee's Blues / Loverman / If I Had You / Detour Ahead / Love Begins / Sweet Lorraine / Sweet and Lovely / Blue Lou / There Will Never Be Another You / A Foggy Day (In London Town).

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £14.99

Nat Pierce - "Sweet Lorraine"

Image of Hep CD2009 - Nat Pierce Orchestra with Paul Quinichette - The Ballad Of Jazz Street


NAT PIERCE Orchestra with Paul Quinichette

"The Ballad Of Jazz Street"

The title comes from a play for which Nat wrote the music and played in the quartet that performed it. Here it is orchestrated for big band and this recording was made at Lynn Oliver Studio, N.Y. City during March 1961.

Titles - Pretty Little Girl / Melancholy Baby / Black Jack / Soulville / Sister Sade / The Ballad of Jazz Street - Part I / The Ballad of Jazz Street - Part II / The Ballad of Jazz Street - Part III.

Price includes postage & packaging per order: £14.99

Nat Pierce - "Black Jack"

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