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Sweet Honey Bee (1966)

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Freddie Hubbard

Pianist/composer Duke Pearson leads an all-star group on this run-through of seven of his compositions. The musicians (trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, altoist James Spaulding, Joe Henderson on tenor, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Mickey Roker, and the pianist/leader) are actually more impressive than many of the compositions, although the swinging minor-toned "Big Bertha" deserved to become a standard. The frameworks are quite intelligent (and everyone doesn't solo on each selection), and the improvisations are concise and clearly related to each tune's melody and mood. Although not quite essential, this CD reissue has some rewarding music. ~ Scott Ya