Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

Nat Pierce

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.

Read more
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
_______________The Birth of Juggernaut_____________________

Capp then went back to the owner of King Arthur’s. “I said, ‘Neal is throwing the band away.’ So he said, ‘Well, I need a band for that night. Have you got any suggestions?’,” he continued. “And I said, ‘Yeah, it just so happens I’ve got a lot of Neal Hefti arrangements and Nat Pierce has got a lot of Count Basie arrangements. We’ll put a band together for one night and do a concert for you.’ And that was the beginning of the Juggernaut. We just called it the Capp-Pierce Orchestra and after we made our first album, Concord Records tagged us with the name ‘Juggernaut.’ Because Leonard Feather, the critic and writer, reviewed our band because we had continued out there at King Arthur’s and his first review said something like ‘a Juggernaut on Basie Street.’ And so Carl Jefferson from Concord liked that term so he christened us the ‘Juggernaut’ and it’s been our name ever since.

Nat Pierce speaking about “Woody Herman”

The band I had in Boston, with the double-time trumpet figures and everything, was kinda patterned after Woody’s band at the time

Read more

3 Photos

Albums

[no cover]
Nat Pierce / Dick...
482 Music
2001
buy
[no cover]
Nat Pierce Orchestra...
482 Music
1977
buy
[no cover]
Boston Bust Out
482 Music
0
buy

Videos

Similar Artists

Count Basie Count Basie
piano
Johnny Hodges Johnny Hodges
sax, alto
Buddy Rich Buddy Rich
drums
Charlie Christian Charlie Christian
guitar, electric
Stan Kenton Stan Kenton
piano
John Lewis John Lewis
piano
Gil Evans Gil Evans
composer/conductor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.