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The Dixie Dregs (also called simply "the Dregs") produced muscular southern rock/fusion during the late seventies and early eighties. They reunited briefly in the early nineties, and reunited again in August, 1999, for a series of concerts at Los Angeles' famed Roxy Theater. The best performances from these hot nights have now been released on California Screamin'. All of the original members are present (Morse, Lavitz, Morgenstern, Sloan, West), as well as more recent band members Jerry Goodman (of Mahavishnu Orchestra fame) and Dave LaRue.
Some of the tunes are classics from the Dregs' repertoire: "Freefall," "Night Meets Light," "Jessica," "What If," and "The Great Spectacular." The band just kills! There's impeccable chops and hard-driving jamming throughout - the CD's title is well-chosen. The fingers fly furiously on both guitar and violin on "The Bash," a good ol' hoe-down medley of "Wabash Cannonball" and "Rocky Top." The band mines this genre again on the closer, "Dixie," in which they juice up the traditional southern chestnut, then switch it to a minor key. "What If" offers a break from the frenetic energy of the rest of the program with its sensitive, gentle balladry. Dweezil Zappa guests on his father's composition "Peaches en Regalia." (Zebra ZD 44021)
Tracks:Dixie; The Great Spectacular; Ionized; Sleeveless in Seattle; What If; Jessica; Refried Funky Chicken; Night Meets Light; The Bash; Aftershock; Freefall; Peaches en Regalia; Wages of Weirdness. (61:33)
Personnel: Steve Morse, Dweezil Zappa: guitar; T Lavitz: keyboards; Rod Morgenstein, drums; Allen Sloan, Jerry Goodman: violin; Andy West, Dave LaRue: bass.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.