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Give and Take

Billy Pierce

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Album Review

Although this set closes with three straight standards ("Love Walked In," "Chelsea Bridge," and "In Your Own Sweet Way"), the remainder of the program consists of lesser-known but worthy originals by Billy Pierce, Donald Brown, Mulgrew Miller, and trumpeter Bill Mobley. Pierce (heard on tenor and soprano) heads a notable quintet also including the great young trumpeter Terence Blanchard, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Ira Coleman, and drummer Tony Reedus. Pierce, who was playing at the time with the Tony Williams Quintet, had a brief vacation to record his second CD as a leader, a fairly definitive modern hard bop date that finds him in top creative form. Recommended.


Born: 25 September 1948 in Hampton, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

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...
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Give and Take, Billy Pierce
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