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Earl Bostic


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Earl Bostic (April 25, 1913 – October 28, 1965) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues alto saxophonist.

Bostic was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He turned professional at age 18 when he joined Terrence Holder’s band. 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 and other jazz luminaries. 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 held his musicians to a high standard and demanded that they read music faultlessly. He was influenced by the great Sidney Bechet. John Coltrane in turn was influenced by Earl Bostic. James Moody said that Bostic was the chief influence on John Coltrane. Moody mentioned that “Bostic knew his instrument inside out, back to front and upside down.”

His virtuosity is documented in 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. Bostic was a master of the blues and he used this skill in a variety of musical settings.


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  • DarkGoba

    i really enjoy it

    27 Dec 2014 Reply
  • johnnyguitar55

    Make that five shouts... extraordinary. I'd say he was also a touchstone (alongside the likes of Louis Jordan) for the great rock'n'roll sax players like King Curtis and Lee Allen

    6 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Nyasa_Lake

    Uh... four shouts? Really? That's it? Wow...

    15 Apr 2013 Reply
  • avalemert

    I am always amazed at how many "sax" players do not know who Earl Bostic was. I am more than happy to tell them and I hope that they look him up as I did. What a sound, what technical and stylistic mastery. Just love his version of "Three Coins in a Fountain" and "Ebb Tide" gives me goosebumps!

    22 Aug 2011 Reply
  • YeshuaTheGreat

    Uh... two shouts? Really? That's it? Wow...

    16 Jun 2011 Reply
  • daicity

    Almost agree with Soulsaxman re.Parker and Bostic. It was Bostic's influence which pointed me to the Yardbird and that field of music, including Stan Kenton, Dizzie, Coltrane and J.J.Johnson.

    4 Jun 2010 Reply

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