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Re: [ARSCLIST] Yet another great box set from Mosaic
I too would vouch for Bostic. In his "Why'd You Do It?" (1952) he
overdubs a minimalist call and response thing,
and would have had to have done so in half-track mono. When I played it
for Mike Biel he said that he'd never
heard anything like it; neither of us could figure out how it could've
been done in 1952.
And his playing is full of stuff that points forward to Free Jazz; it's
just the settings, selection of material
and short, singles length selection tends to draw away from the
innovative nature of his musicianship. Bostic was
a monster, nonetheless.
To those already mentioned, I'd like to add the tracks "Moonglow" and
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," the LPs "The Best of Bostic" and "Earl Bostic
Plays the Hits of the Roaring Twenties" - there are doubtless others, as
he was quite prolific.
David N. Lewis
Assistant Classical Editor, All Music Guide
Maybe music was not intended to satisfy the curious definiteness of man.
Maybe it is better to hope that music may always be transcendental
language in the most extravagant sense. ~ Charles Ives
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Roger and Allison Kulp
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 1:04 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Yet another great box set from Mosaic
Earl Bostic (April 25, 1913 - October 28, 1965) was an American jazz
and rhythm and blues alto saxophonist, a pioneer of the post-war
American Rhythm and Blues style. He had a number of popular hits such as
"Flamingo", "Harlem Nocturne", "Temptation", "Sleep" and "Where or
When", which showed off his characteristic growl on the horn. He was a
major influence on John Coltrane(1,2)
Bostic was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He turned professional at age 18
when he joined Terrence Holder's 'Twelve Clouds of Joy'. He made his
first recording with Lionel Hampton in 1942 where he played along with
Red Allen, J. C. Higginbotham, Sid Catlett, Teddy Wilson and Hampton.
Before that he performed with Fate Marable on New Orleans riverboats.
Bostic graduated from Xavier University in New Orleans. He worked with
territory bands as well as Arnett Cobb, Hot Lips Page, Rex Stewart, Don
Byas, Charlie Christian, Thelonious Monk, Edgar Hayes, Cab Calloway, and
other jazz luminaries. In 1938, and in 1944, Bostic led the house band
at Small's Paradise.(3) While playing at Small's Paradise, he doubled on
guitar and trumpet. During the early 1940s, he was a well respected
regular at the famous jam sessions held at Minton's Playhouse. He formed
his own band in 1945, and turned to rhythm and blues in the late 1940s.
His biggest hits were "Temptation," "Sleep," "Flamingo," "You Go to My
Head" and "Cherokee." At various times his band included Jaki Byard,
John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Blue Mitchell, Stanley Turrentine, Tommy
Turrentine, Keter Betts, Sir Charles Thompson, Teddy Edwards, Tony
Scott, Benny Carter and other musicians who rose to prominence in jazz.
Bostic's King album titled Jazz As I Feel It featured Shelly Manne on
drums, Joe Pass on guitar and Groove Holmes on organ. Bostic recorded A
New Sound about one month later again featuring Holmes and Pass. These
recordings allowed Bostic to stretch out beyond the 3 minute limit
imposed by the 45 RPM format. Bostic was pleased with the sessions which
highlight his total mastery of the blues but they also foreshadowed
musical advances that were later evident in the work of John Coltrane
and Eric Dolphy.
He wrote arrangements for Paul Whiteman, Louis Prima, Lionel Hampton,
Gene Krupa, Artie Shaw, Hot Lips Page, Jack Teagarden, Ina Ray Hutton
and Alvino Rey.
His songwriting hits include "Let Me Off Uptown" performed by Anita
O'Day and Roy Eldridge and "Brooklyn Boogie" which featured Louis Prima
and members of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Bostic's signature hit, "Flamingo" was recorded in 1951 and remains a
favorite among followers of Carolina Beach Music in South Carolina,
North Carolina and Virginia.
During the early 1950s Bostic lived with his wife in Addisleigh Park
where many other jazz stars made their home.(5) After that he moved to
Los Angeles where he concentrated on writing arrangements after
suffering a heart attack.
Bostic died from a heart attack in Rochester, New York, while
performing with his band in 1965.
Style and Influence Bostic was influenced by Sidney Bechet and
(according to James Moody) Coltrane in turn was influenced by Bostic.
Coltrane told Down Beat magazine in 1960 that Bostic "showed me a lot of
things on my horn. He has fabulous technical facilities on his
instrument and knows many a trick." Moody mentioned that "Bostic knew
his instrument inside out, back to front and upside down." If one
listens carefully to Bostic's fabulous stop time choruses and his
extended solo work, the roots of Coltrane's "sheets of sound" become
Bostic's virtuosity on the saxophone was legendary, and is evident on
records such as Up There In Orbit, Earl's Imagination, Apollo Theater
Jump, All On, Artistry by Bostic, Telestar Drive, Liza, Lady Be Good and
Tiger Rag. He was famous as a peerless jammer and held his own against
Charlie Parker. The alto saxophonist Sweet Papa Lou Donaldson recalled
seeing Parker get burned by Bostic during one such jam session. Art
Blakey remarked that "Nobody knew more about the saxophone than Bostic,
I mean technically, and that includes Bird. Working with Bostic was like
attending a university of the saxophone.When Coltrane played with
Bostic, I know he learned a lot"(1) Victor Schonfield pointed out that
"...his greatest gift was the way he communicated through his horn a
triumphant joy in playing and being, much like Louis Armstrong and only
a few others have done." He was able to control the horn from low B flat
up into the altissimo range years before other saxophonists dared to
stray. Bostic was able to play melodies in the altissimo range with
perfect execution. He could play wonderfully in any key at any tempo
over any changes. Benny Golson, who called Bostic "the best technician I
ever heard in my life," mentioned that "He could start from the bottom
of the horn and skip over notes, voicing it up the horn like a guitar
would. He had circular breathing before I even knew what circular
breathing was - we're talking about the early 50s. He had innumerable
ways of playing one particular note. He could double tongue, triple
tongue. It was incredible what he could do, and he helped me by showing
me many technical things." Bostic used a Beechler mouthpiece with a
tenor saxophone reed on his Martin Committee model alto sax.(2) Bostic
was a master of the blues and he used this skill in a variety of musical
settings. Although he recorded many commercial albums, some notable jazz
based exceptions on the King label include Bostic Rocks Hits of the
Swing Age, Jazz As I Feel It and A New Sound. Compositions like "The
Major and the Minor" and "Earl's Imagination" display a solid knowledge
of harmony. In 1951, Bostic successfully toured with Dinah Washington on
the R&B circuit.(4) Bostic was always well dressed and articulate during
interviews. His live performances provided an opportunity for a
departure from his commercial efforts and those who witnessed these
shows remember him driving audiences into a frenzy with dazzling
technical displays. Always the consummate showman, he appeared on the
Soupy Sales TV show and performed the Soupy Shuffle better than Soupy
while playing the saxophone.(6) His popular hits such as "Flamingo",
"Harlem Nocturne", "Temptation", "Sleep" and "Where or When" showed off
his characteristic growl on the horn. He adopted a danceable beat for
these commercial successes while employing less notes than on his jazz
based recordings. Gene Redd See also :
Dance to The Best of Bostic King 500
(Compiled from rare 10" Lps,one of which I own on the UK Parlophone.)
Earl Bostic "For You" King 503 "Alto-tude" King 515 "Dance Time" King
525 "Let's Dance With Earl Bostic" King 529 "Alto Magic In Hi-Fi" King
597 "Bostic Workshop" King 613 (The only one here I have never owned.)
"Earl Bostic Plays Hit Tunes of Big Broadway Shows" King 705 "Earl
Bostic Plays the Great Hits of 1964" King 921.
There are also his "decades" Lps with "tunes of the" 30s,40s,50s,as well
as a 1965 Polydor memorial Lp,that was only issued in Holland,where mine
is from, and Germany,as far as I know.
Dance to the Best Of Bostic
Tom Fine <tflists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: Hi Aaron:
Can you cite some albums or songs you like? Thanks!
-- Tom Fine
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