Nat Pierce had a long, distinguished, somewhat low-profile
career as a champion of latter-day big-band swing, serving
as the co-leader of Los Angeles' crack Frank Capp-Nat
Pierce Juggernaut and an arranger for several well-known
big bands and solo artists. His scores created an irresistible
force when allied with a swinging, pushing drummer like
Capp, often hewing tightly to the loping drive and tight
ensemble of the post-1950s Count Basie orchestra.
Likewise, Pierce's spare, tasty piano style not only has been
compared to that of Basie, he also subbed very capably —
indeed, almost indistinguishably — for the great man off and
on from the late 1950s until Basie's death in 1984.
Pierce studied music at the New England Conservatory of
Music back home in Massachusetts, worked with local
Boston bands, and ran his own part-time big band featuring
Charlie Mariano from 1949 to 1951