Sweet Honey Bee

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Sweet Honey Bee
Sweet Honey Bee.jpg
Studio album by Duke Pearson
Released 1967
Recorded December 7, 1966
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs
Genre Jazz
Length 39:27
Label Blue Note
BST 84252
Producer Alfred Lion
Duke Pearson chronology
Prairie Dog
Sweet Honey Bee
The Right Touch
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz 3.5/4 stars[2]

Sweet Honey Bee is an album by American jazz pianist and composer Duke Pearson, released on the Blue Note label in 1967.[3] The woman on the cover was Pearson's fiancee Betty.[4]


Allmusic awarded the album with 4 stars and its review by Scott Yanow states: "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."[5] The Penguin Guide review says: "the highlights are the lushly voiced melodies of 'Sudel' and 'Gaslight', the former a tune which Pearson had recorded some years earlier with a different group. Hubbard and Henderson eat up their solo opportunities without sundering the essentially easy-going feel which was [a] Pearson trademark, and while not all the material is up to this standard, as a showcase for the pianist as writer and group-leader, this is surely the best thing available at present [2004]."[2]

Popular culture[edit]

In David Mitchell's novel Ghostwritten, Satoru, a young Japanese jazz-lover working in a record shop in Tokyo, says of a girl who comes into the store, "if you know Duke Pearson's 'After the Rain,' well, she was as beautiful and pure as that."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Duke Pearson except where indicated.
  1. "Sweet Honey Bee" – 5:00
  2. "Sudel" – 5:43
  3. "After the Rain" – 4:45
  4. "Gaslight" – 6:01
  5. "Big Bertha" (Peter Chatman, Pearson) – 5:58
  6. "Empathy" – 6:00
  7. "Ready Rudy?" – 6:01



  1. ^ Yanow, Scott (2011). "Sweet Honey Bee - Duke Pearson | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Richard Cook and Brian Morton, The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 7th ed. (Penguin, 2004: ISBN 978-0-14-101416-6).
  3. ^ Duke Pearson discography accessed September 6, 2010
  4. ^ Nat Hentoff, liner notes to Sweet Honey Bee (Blue Note CDP 0777 7 89792 2 7).
  5. ^ Yanow, S.Allmusic Review: Sweet Honey Bee accessed 06 June 2010
  6. ^ David Mitchell, Ghostwritten (Random House Digital, Inc., 2001: ISBN 0375724508), p. 41.