Earl Bostic this weekend, with one of the last 78’s King Records issued, just before everybody switched over to 45 for good. A Gay Day (Gay . . as in happy) was not a hit, in fact I don’t see a reissue of it showing up anywhere. But Bostic re-recorded so much of his material at various times that it’s hard to say if this did’t just slip by unnoticed or the stereo master is sitting in a vault somewhere.
Earl Bostic was known as one of the prime exponents of the Honking sax technique. But he was also leading a band which saw a veritable who’s who of notables in the Jazz community pass through. Stanley Turrentine is mentioned in discographies as a sideman, as was King Kolax and, I swear, I saw it with my own eyes, a reference to John Coltrane joining in on some sessions. Bostic was widely respected by a lot of people. He got his start during the Big Band era, recording his first session with Lionel Hampton in 1939. He was also a prolific writer as well as arranger. By 1945 he was leading his own band and began his recording career with Majestic Records before landing a spot with King. The John Coltrane connection is no fluke, as Coltrane was said to be very influenced by Bostic’s technique and learned a lot from him.
If you aren’t familiar with the music of Earl Bostic, you really need to check his stuff out. I would seek out the earlier things and the original mono sessions because that’s where a lot of the notable sidemen are. The later stereo tracks are re-records and a little bit of the spontaneity is missing. But I have yet to find a bad Earl Bostic recording, no matter when.
Crank it up and dance.