April 25, 1912, Tulsa, Oklahoma – October 28, 1965, Rochester, New York
Earl Bostic was an American jazz and rhythm and blues alto saxophonist and a pioneer of the post-war American Rhythm and Blues style.
He turned professional at the age of 18 when he joined Terence Holder’s Twelve Clouds of Joy. Bostic made his first recording with Lionel Hampton in October 1939, with Charlie Christian, Clyde Hart and Big Sid Catlett. 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.
He had a number of popular hits such as Flamingo, Harlem Nocturne, Temptation, Sleep, Special Delivery Stomp and Where or When which all showed off his characteristic growl on the horn. He was a major influence on John Coltrane.