Joe Henderson-tenor sax
James Spaulding-alto sax,flute
Well-known for his superlative arranging skills for big band as well as smaller ensembles,and as a solid main-stream pianist,this recording is a
good testimonial to all of these attributes.I consider SWEET HONEY BEE to be the finest recording during his tenure at BLUE NOTE RECORDS.This sextet is polished,with some great originals by Pearson,top-shelf soloing all around, and a really superb rhythm section,with Freddie Hubbard,James Spaulding,and Joe Henderson taking full advantage of the moment.Standouts for me were the surreal qualities of 'GAS LIGHT',which merits a thoughtful and hi-calibre solo by Henderson,and the straight ahead 'one-two punch' of 'BIG BERTHA'.Hubbard,Spaulding and Henderson really 'smoke'this one,with the sparkling drive of Roker,Carter,and Duke spurring them on.On both these tunes Pearson really diplays his remarkable compositional and arranging skills.This comes highly reccomended.Also, two other suberb CD's with Duke Pearson as leader,are 'THE DUKE PEARSON BIG BAND' (Blue Note Records),and 'PROFILE'(with Stanley Turrentine/Blue Note Records).Enjoy! Health and happiness.