Nat Pierce

Old Time Modern

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This compilation is made up of separate ten-inch discs recorded for Vanguard in the mid-'50s. Trombonist Urbie Green leads an octet which incorporates both up-and-coming bop players and swing musicians, including Med Flory, Sir Charles Thompson, Frank Wess, Freddie Green, and Ruby Braff. Though Green plays his tail off, Braff easily takes top honors with his powerful solos, especially in "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." Overall, this is a very nice date.

Urbie Green, Freddie Green, and Med Flory are also present on pianist Nat Pierce's nonet session, which also initially appeared on a Vanguard ten-inch LP. With Pierce's economical Count Basie-like style, the presence of Basie's rhythm section (Freddie Green, Walter Page, and Jo Jones), a pair of Woody Herman alumni (Jack Nimitz and Med Flory), in addition to the leader, this easygoing swing session comes off effortlessly. Unlike Urbie Green's earlier session, there isn't any one soloist who dominates this session, which is made up of originals by Pierce plus a contribution by frequent Basie collaborator Neal Hefti and the little-known "Constance." This LP compilation will not be particularly easy to locate.