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Friday, February 29, 2008

Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band - S/T

Name: Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
Album: S/T
Style: Disco-Swing
Similar Bands: Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Sergio Menendez
"One-Word" Review: Ballroom-Latin-Disco-Jive
Based Out Of: Bronx, NY
Label: RCA Records, Victor
DBOSB - Cover & Insert
DBOSB - Back & Insert
DBOSB - Record
Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band (1976)
  1. I'll Play The Fool 4:47 (Sample)
  2. Hard Times 4:12 (Sample)
  3. Cherchez la Femme / Se Si Bon 5:44 (Sample)
  4. Sunshower 4:04 (Sample)/
  5. We Got It Made / Night And Day 3:46 (Sample)
  6. You've Got Something/Betcha' the Love Bug Bitcha' 5:40 (Sample)
  7. Sour & Sweet / Lemon in the Honey 6:03 (Sample)
Album Rating (1-10):

Members & Other Bands:
Cory Daye - Vocals
August Darnell - Bass, Writer/Screenplay, Vocals, Lyrics (Kid Creole & the Coconuts)
Stoney Browder Jr- Guitar, Piano, Musical Director, Arangement
"Sugar Coated" Andy Hernandez - Vibes, Bass, Marimba, Percussion (Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Coati Mundi)
Sandy Linzer - Producer
Mickey Sevilla - Drums
Don Armando Bonilla - Percussion
Jeffery Kawalek - Sound Engineer
Jim Bonnefond - Associate Engineer
Larry Fast - Special Effects
Tommy Mottola - "Capo de Capo"
Susandra Minsky - Casting Director
Charlie Calello - Orchestrations, Arrangements

Unknown-ness: I had never heard of the band. From the album cover and name, I was thinking this would be a Dixie land jazz album: Big Band, which would either be untouched or updated for the era of the 70's.

Album Review: Later to come, I will be reviewing Kid Creole & the Coconuts, a band made up mostly of people from this band. That is a good thing to know, going into the review of them, as I am unaware of their music and style too. "I'll Play the Fool" begins the album with a cymbal drum beat, and it transforms into a big band tune, tinged with Latin groove, and disco beats just under the surface. Where the vocals were a mix of male and female, the female takes the lead for the majority of the song. Soon, the big band style is lost, and the disco style takes over complete control, with its use of percussion, bass and strings. They revisit the big band swing for le last 30 second, and there is a grand ballroom finish. "Hard Times" also starts off with a big band woodwind sound. Then Latin percussion and piano take over, and the song becomes a laid back breezy Latin disco song. The song finishes off combining the two styles for a nice atmospheric groove, and the song fades out. Their popular disco dance song "Cherchuz..." also blends the old big band style with new (new for the time period) disco bass & drum beats for a refreshing new take on 20-30's jazz. The sound is not as dated as Bee Gees disco, and it is just as danceable. There is even soothing use of a xylophone that blends the two genres together very nicely. "Sunshower" begins with what sounds like a chorus of children echoing a man in repetitive lyrics, all underneath a storm. Then the song begins with a slide guitar & catchy chorus of children singing the lyrics "Sunshower, just a sign of the power of loving you, oh baby." That is the real hook. The rest of the song is a slow groove, with the woman's lyrics overlaying the relaxing drum and sleigh bell verse. Two and a half minutes the child chorus breaks down with two or three younger, selected voicies to carry the chorus. The end of the song is a reprise in melody of the chorus, and the song winds down very gently.

"We Got It" made is more of the same salsa/Cha-cha music with disco and brass overlay. The only slight difference is that this is a more driving song than has been represented on the album. "You've Got Something" is more Latin lounge than disco, and it features male vocals more than other tracks, although the female vocals are still the definitive lead. "Sour & Sweet" is back to the Latin disco theme mostly present throughout the album. It is a very deep and complex song with disco drum & bass, much brass, choruses of vocals, strings, and the consistent female lead. There are even s few odd electronic samples (one sounds just like a cell-phone ring) mixed in separately through the left and right speakers for even more depth.

Although the music feels dated to the 70's it smartly fits into the disco genre as well as lounge. Together they blend, mixing in big band elements, to form a cohesive unique sound, yet it is very familiar. This is probably nothing I'll ever come back too, but I can at least appreciate it, especially when thinking about the time period it is from.

Stand-Out Track:


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