Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Duke Pearson
Album:Sweet Honey Bee
Pianist Duke Pearson made some very good records but he's probably better known as producer of many of Blue Note's best recordings of the 60s. He was born Columbus Calvin Pearson Jr. Aug. 17, 1932 in Atlanta. His uncle was a Duke Ellington fan and thought young Calvin was a piano whiz. He moved to New York in 1959 and joined Donald Byrd's band and was Nancy Wilson's accompanist. He produced and arranged several songs for Donald Byrd's 1963 album A New Perspective. This earned him a contract with Blue Note as a recording artist and producer. 1966's Sweet Honey Bee is very typical of his recordings. It's very good jazz that's helped by having some great musicians like Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, James Spaulding on alto sax, Joe Henderson on tenor sax, Ron Carter on bass and Mickey Roker on drums. He used his Duke Pearson Big Band to introduce young musicians like Randy Brecker & Chick Corea. Pearson left Blue Note in 1970. He would accompany singer Carmen McRae for several years but then became ill with multiple sclerosis and died on Aug. 4, 1980 at age 47. Duke Pearson is mostly forgotten today but he was a big part of Blue Note in the 60s. There is no video footage available.