EARL BOSTIC Bostic Rocks

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Here at the Attic I have featured many King LPs, mostly of the country variety. Presented here is an example of the other side of the King catalog. Saxophonist Earl Bostic was a mainstay of the Cincinnati label from the late '40s until his death in 1965. Most of his output was commercial R&B, but a few of his LPs were of a more legitimate jazz nature, including the present album, "Bostic Rocks, Hits of the Swing Age". Despite the commercial nature of most of his recorded work, Bostic was well respected by his peers for his technical abilities, as evidenced by the following comments by fellow alto sax legend Lou Donaldson at the 2009 Portland Jazz Festival:

I’m telling you, Earl Bostic was the greatest saxophone player I ever knew. I didn’t like him ‘cause sometimes he’d play stuff that I’d consider corny, [with] that wide vibrato and the sound of growling in the mouthpiece. But the man could play three octaves. I mean play ’em, I don’t mean just hit the notes. He was bad. He was a technician you wouldn’t believe. But he never put those things on a record. And I asked him one time; “Earl, with all this stuff you can play”–and he said let me tell you something. “Don’t play anything you can play good on a record, [because] people will copy it.” And the man was dead right. Now you’d see him, we’d run up there and think that we’re going to blow him out, and he’d make you look like a fool. Cause he’d play three octaves, louder, stronger and faster. But he never put that on a record. (via https://larryappelbaum.wordpress.com/)

This 1958 release is a very early example of a King stereo LP, with a blue stereo label that features a small crownless logo, and bright orange sticker applied to the front of the generic mono jacket. The disk is pressed on styrene, and there is an occasional bit of distortion, but overall this slab sounds quite good for it's age. Hopefully it makes for the swinging Sunday listening!


1. Southern Fried
2. Jersey Bounce
3. Jumpin' At The Woodside
4. Tuxedo Junction
5. 720 In The Books
6. Air Mail Special
7. Pompton Turnpike
8. Woodchopper's Ball
9. Night Train
10. Stompin' At The Savoy
11. Honeysuckle Rose
12. No Name Jive

*download here*


iggy said...

Thanks so much for this rare treat. Most folks don't understand how great the King recordings from the '50s were/are. Such heavy deep-groove vinyl is rarely heard. Add to that the quality of artists, especially in country and blues/r&b, and you have an unmatched combination. Don't miss any King albums! All good wishes,


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Daver88 said...

Many thanks - This album really swings.

Bill S. said...

I've always loved Earl Bostic's records. Great mellow jazz/R&B. Lou Donaldson (a great technician on the instrument himself)'s comments about Bostic are interesting. A shame we never heard that "other" side of Bostic which Lou discusses. Love your blog. Keep up the fine work.

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