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1949- 1951

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Album Review

Back in Cincinnati on August 2, 1949, Earl Bostic cut four dynamite sides for the King label. This session, essentially a sequel to the one that occurred in New York on May 28th (see Classics 5022, the 1948-1949 volume in the Bostic chronology), resulted in music of exceptional warmth and passionate intensity. Lowell "Count" Hastings blew a fine tenor sax, and sitting in at the piano was Ben Webster's brother Rufus. A worthy guitarist is audible on these sides, but no guitar is listed in the enclosed discography. The next step in the Bostic story took him back to New York, where beginning in 1950 trumpeter and vibraphonist Gene Redd would add a special ingredient that came to characterize Bostic's sound for years to come. The mixture of cool vibes and hot alto worked well and sold records. A florid "Serenade" is based on a theme by Franz Schubert and Franz Lehár's Merry Widow gets a run around the block, but most of the tunes are either jazz/pop standards or Bostic originals. After bassist Keter Betts introduces "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," the band sings most of the lyrics, always leaving it to Betts to finish the melodic line and eventually polish the whole tune off as a fine feature for plucked upright bass. "Way Down" sounds a lot like a Wynonie Harris jump tune and "Don't You Do It" consists of an incendiary exchange between Bostic's alto and "Count" Hastings' tenor. Jimmy Cobb became Bostic's drummer in January 1951, adding an extra dimension to the band on Earl's smoldering treatment of "The Moon Is Low." The other noteworthy addition to the band at this time was Clyde Terrell, a vocalist who emulated Billy Eckstine on the ballads and tried to cut Joe Turner with "Chains of Love." This segment of the Earl Bostic chronology concludes with Terrell imitating Peppermint Harris as he proudly sings "I got loaded, oh I sure got high!"


Born: April 25, 1913 in Tulsa, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Alto saxophonist Earl Bostic was a technical master of his instrument, yet remained somewhat underappreciated by jazz fans due to the string of simple, popular R&B/jump blues hits he recorded during his heyday in the '50s. Born Eugene Earl Bostic in Tulsa, OK, on April 25, 1913, Bostic played around the Midwest during the early '30s, studied at Xavier University, and toured with several bands before moving to New York in 1938. There he played for Don Redman, Edgar Hayes, and Lionel Hampton, making...
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1949- 1951, Earl Bostic
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