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Bill Pierce is an excellent saxophonist who also works as an educator. He started off his career in Boston playing R&B with such stars as Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. However, he is essentially a hard bop player, as he showed during stints with James Williams (1979-1980 and 1984-1985) and a high-profile association with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1980-1982); with the latter he shared the front line with Wynton Marsalis and Bobby Watson. From 1986-1994, Pierce was a regular member of Tony Williams' quintet, somehow making himself heard over the leader's very loud drumming. He has led several of his own dates for Sunnyside.