Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band


In some parts of America, the Whip Inflation Now era might as well have been another Great Depression — so why not let the drop-dead, burning-Bronx New York have a shot at putting together a good old-fashioned big band? The brainchild of Stony Browder Jr. and August Darnell, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band thrived off a sardonic-yet-sincere disco-fied and Latin-inflected take on American jazz of forty years previous, with lead singer Cory Daye as the woman who’d lend them a voice to die for. That meant a great cover of “Night and Day” and six other songs that Cole Porter probably wishes he would’ve written — including the gorgeous love-conquers-malaise ballad “Hard Times,” the wobble-kneed zoot-suit-city swing of “I’ll Play the Fool,” and a hit in “Cherchez La Femme” that already sounded like a classic standard in Bicentennial America, even more so nearly a half-century later.

Nate Patrin