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Wednesday 11 October 2017

Earl Bostic - Dance Time

Side 1:
01. Harlem Nocturne
02. Where Or When
03. Sweet Lorraine
04. Poeme
05. You Go To My Head
06. Off Shore

Side 2:
01. The Moon Is Low
02. Ain't Misbehavin'
03. The Sheik Of Araby
04. I Hear A Rhapsody
05. Roses Of Picardy
06. Melancholy Serenade

1988 reissue of a King LP (395-525) originally issued in 1956 and then again in February 1957. Billboard reviewed the album (February 23rd 1957) as follows:

"Actually this one is hard to categorize, and there should be sales to r&b, jazz and pop customers, not to mention teen-age rock and rollers. It's Bostic's fourth LP, and most of the 12 sides, if not all, have been cut as singles. Some reflect the alto man's recent tendency to choke and growl in the best r.&r. commercial tradition. 'Harlem Nocturne,' the teen dance fave, gets a polished rundown the deejays will like. Also includes 'Off Shore,' 'Melancholy Serenade,' etc. For all shops."

The original 1956 cover was as follows (thanks to for the cover scans):

The 1957 issue was similar in appearance, with a change of colour:

A 1958 issue, now without the 395 part of the number had a cover almost identical to the LP on this post. The back cover of the 1988 Sing reissue features discographical information on the 12 tracks, including date of recording, personnel and the original release numbers from when the tracks were issued as singles. The information shows the tracks were recorded between 1951 and 1956.

All of which would seem to indicate that I can now bring this post to a swift conclusion with no need for me to add anything else except perhaps the release dates of the original singles. But alas, all is not as it seems. I remembered reading in Bob Porter's book "Soul Jazz" that in 1959 Earl Bostic had re-recorded many of his LPs for stereo reissue and so I set about comparing the tracks on the posted LP to the original single releases. It quickly became obvious that this issue of "Dance Time" is taken from the re-recorded version as the tracks differ significantly in "feel" and sometimes arrangement from the original versions, all of which were initially released as singles.

The Bruyninckx discography lists the details of the 1959 re-recording sessions and the Both Sides Now website lists King LP issues. What follows is drawn from those sources.

A number of Earl Bostic 10 inch LPs were issued in the early 50s. In February 1956 King Records started issuing 12 inch LPs, the first being "The Best Of Bostic" (395-500). The 500 series of LPs had the prefix 395 until April 1957.

The Earl Bostic 500 series LPs were as follows:

395-500   The Best Of Bostic
395-503   Earl Bostic For You
395-515   Altotude
395-525   Dance Time
395-529   Let's Dance With Earl Bostic
       547   Invitation To Dance With Bostic
       558   C'mon And Dance With Earl Bostic
       571   Bostic Rocks Hits Of The Swing Age
       583   Bostic Showcase Of Swinging Dance Hits
       597   Alto Magic In Hi-Fi: A Dance Party With Bostic

Tracks for King LP 597 were recorded on the 8th and 9th May 1958. In mid July 1958 Earl recorded tracks for his first album in the King 600 series - "Sweet Tunes Of The Fantastic 50's" (King LP 602, released in November 1958.) During the rest of 1958 and up to March 25th 1959 Earl worked on further LPs in the 600 series. On March 26th 1959 Earl began an intensive program of recording stereo versions of every track from his LPs in the King 500 series, which meant that he had to re-record tracks from as far back as 1950.

The March 26th session produced the bulk of the tracks for the reissues of King LPs 500 and 525 (the posted LP!) and recording continued until the end of March. Similar sessions were held in the first half of April and in the first half of June, ending on June 15th with tracks for the stereo version of King LP 547 - "Invitation To Dance With Bostic."

The tracks on the stereo version of "Dance Time" were recorded as follows:

Cincinnati, March 26th, 1959. Personnel: Earl Bostic (alto sax); Roland Johnson (vibraphone); Jon Thomas (piano); Allan Seltzer (guitar); Herb Gordy (bass); William Erskine (drums):

Harlem Nocturne
Where Or When
Sweet Lorraine
You Go To My Head
Off Shore
Ain't Misbehavin'
The Sheik Of Araby
I Hear A Rhapsody
Roses Of Picardy
Melancholic Serenade

Cincinnati, April 8th, 1959. Personnel: Earl Bostic (alto sax); Roland Johnson (vibraphone); Claude Jones (piano); Warren Stephens, Allan Seltzer (guitars); Herb Gordy (bass); William Erskine (drums):

The Moon Is Low

The stereo version of "Dance Time" was released in July 1959. These re-recordings have a different sound when compared to the originals, with Earl's alto more strident and rasping. The new versions are generally played at a faster pace and as they were recorded in just two sessions with similar personnel, there is naturally a sameness in sound which you don't find in the original version of the LP which had tracks recorded over a period 5 years with varying personnel which included Earl's long time vibes player Gene Redd and notable tenor sax players such as Count Hastings, John Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine and Benny Golson.

I have also investigated the previously posted LP "Dance To The Best Of Bostic" and I have discovered that it is also a 1959 re-recording. The recording information on that post is therefore wrong as the tracks were actually recorded on March 26th and June 4th, 1959. A new post on that LP is in the pipeline.


Bob Mac said...

Good! One I haven't already got. Thanks BW.

george said...

Wonderful post, boogiewoody!
Many thanks for all your efforts.

The Jackal said...

Dear Woodie,

Zippy no good on this one, could you re-up please.

boogiewoody said...

Sorry folks, the file has been deleted. I'll try to reload later today but this doesn't look good for the future of the blog.


boogiewoody said...

New link now up.


Bob Mac said...

Zippy links disappearing on Friday 13th...uh oh!

boogiewoody said...

Don't tempt fate, Bob! Hopefully it's just a one off.


B_B said...

Whoo hoo! I look forward to hearing the “bikini bird babe” cover Art --- STEREO I hope --- edition.

It’s just GOT to be the place from whence the stupendous (and “close to,” but NOT the original . . . in this case I do not care . . . rare . . .) STEREO “FLAMINGO” I heard many years ago on a radio show comes. . .

Is this the version available on a (U.S. King) reissue CD (Cat. No. KCD-500)?

Interesting reading, here . . . (If you’d like to be further confused by this album in all its permutations!):

- Brian

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for the link, Brian. Very informative. Yes the bathing beauty is about to return to the blog with her volume boosted! And that version is in stereo. I would guess that the King reissue CDs are mostly the stereo versions - I've got a couple of them. I'll give them a listen. Anyway the full lowdown on "Dance To The Best Of Bostic" will be revealed shortly. Hang in there!


Bear From Delaware said...

Great freaking info.
I never knew the re-recordings occurred in 1959 but in the early 60's. I collect Bostic LP's and have several original King pressings with different covers both in stereo and mono, some play the original 50's versions and others have the re-recorded versions. "For You" is a good example. You have the cover with him standing holding his also in the air, and another with live shots of Bostic in red. Both play the original versions, but there is another pressing that uses the standing cover that has the re-recorded versions. Keep up the great work.

boogiewoody said...

Thanks very much for your informative comment and the encouragement, Mr Bear From Delaware. I have a a 1980's issue of "For You" on the Sing label. It has the cover with Bostic holding his alto sax and after a quick listen I believe that the tracks are the original versions recorded between 1950 and 1954. I'll check this more carefully and post the LP next week.

I also have a 1980's issue of "Bostic Rocks Hits Of The Swing Age" on the Swingtime label. Lonesome Lefty's Scratchy Attic has an early issue of the stereo version which I've downloaded and I'll compare the two and post my LP later next week.

I think you've summed up the situation re Earl Bostic 500 series LPs very succinctly - the earlier LPs have appeared in 2 covers both versions having the original mono recordings. The stereo reissues have the later covers with a "stereo" label added, so in effect there are 3 versions of some of the 500 series LPs.

Lonesome Lefty's post is here: