Bill Pierce

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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.

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