Sunday, April 25, 2010


American jazz and rhythm and blues alto saxophonist Earl Bostic was born on April 25, 1913 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was 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. He turned professional at age 18 when he joined Terence Holder's 'Twelve Clouds of Joy'. He made his first recording with Lionel Hampton in October 1939, with a.o. Charlie Christian, Clyde Hart and Big Sid Catlett. 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.

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 made the first recordings under his own name for the Majestic label.He 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, 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 Richard "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.

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 Caroline and Virginia.

During the early 1950s Bostic lived with his wife in Addisleigh Park in St. Albans, Queens in New York City, where many other jazz stars made their home. After that he moved to Los Angeles where he concentrated on writing arrangements after suffering a heart attack. He opened his own R&B club in Los Angeles known as the Flying Fox.

Bostic passed away from a heart attack in Rochester, New York, while performing with his band on October 1965. He was buried in Los Angeles on November 2, 1965. Honorary pallbearers at the funeral included Slappy White and Louis Prima.
Earl plays his composition and signature hit "Flamingo"
Reference - Wikipédia

No comments: