Oxford's music course
The annual music issue of the Oxford American is out again, and although there have been outstanding issues to go with excellent cover-stuck companion CDs in the past, this year's combo might take the cake. Along with some of the best music writing you'll read all year, including Roy Blount Jr . discussing why he can't stand Bob Dylan , Chet Flippo 's intriguing account of Jeannie C. Riley "from saucy secretary to reformed Christian," and the late Charles Wolfe 's wonderful tale about Louis Armstrong 's last time in Nashville, there's a killer compilation disc with Big Star 's Stroke It Noel, Bob Dorough 's Three Is A Magic Number, Gary Stewart 's Single Again, Richard Hell 's Blank Generation and a proto-rap tune from Muhammad Ali that nearly tops the nuttiness of Mama Guitar, a rockabilly tune Andy Griffith cut for Elia Kazan's A Face In The Crowd. www.oxfordamericanmag.com.
With the University of Florida Gators playing the Ohio State Buckeyes for the NCAA football championship in Glendale, Arizona, on January 8, those planning game day parties might want to grab a copy of Jazzman 's new 22-track Florida Funk comp CD, since wall-shaking groovers like the Oceanliners ' Cutting Room, Willie Johnson 's Lay It On Me, Weston Prim 's Spider Web and the Third Guitar 's Baby Don't Cry all go down well with nachos and brew.
And those poor turntable-less souls who've sadly stood by and watched Jazzman's limited-run reissue 7s go out of print can play catch-up with the Pow Wow disc, which collects some of the label's recent vinyl-only classics. There are only 12 tracks, but with such choice cuts as John Cameron 's slick spy theme Troublemaker, Carla Whitney 's Canuck classic War, Aaron Neville 's timeless Hercules and Bajka 's brilliant The Only Religion, you can't gripe too much about being shortchanged.
Somehow funk isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Stormy Weather , and that's not what Harold Arlen had in mind either when he asked Ted Koehler to write some Cotton Club-appropriate lyrics for his new tune back in 1933 in hopes that Cab Calloway might want to sing it.
But when you hear what Virginia's Dorsey Brockington does with the tune in conjunction with soulful singers Barbara Stant and Debbie Taylor working in unison, you'll never think of the song as just a sultry jazz ballad again. Evidently, the recent Plut label 7-inch is the first-ever release of Brockington's fiercely funkified revision hidden for more than 30 years in the archives of producer Lenis Guess . The thumping Tyrone's Brake Down by Tyrone Bowers on the flip makes for an awesome two-sider.