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Dixie Dregs - Bring 'Em Back Alive CD (album) cover

BRING 'EM BACK ALIVE

Dixie Dregs

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.52 | 35 ratings

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1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In 1992, The Dixie Dregs reformed after a decade-long hiatus while various members pursued solo gigs. The Dregs were perhaps the truest form of fusion, mixing more than just jazz and rock; they threw in classical and bluegrass/country for good measure. The classic lineup booked a few gigs, with the exception of bassist Andy West. In his place is Steve Morse's bass virtuoso Dave LaRue, who is unquestionably more talented than Andy (sorry, man, but few people hold a candle to Dave). The result is one of the best albums of fusion, live or otherwise.

Judging from the taut playing and rapid-fire improv, you'd swear these guys practiced with each other on the weekends while they did their own things. LaRue's pulsating rhythms combine standard contrapuntal lines as well as slapped sequences that bring out the low end. Rod Morgenstein runs the gamut from subtle fills to wild, Moonie-like crashes. He and LaRue make for a rhythm section that can be both tight and loose, almost simultaneously. The real delight, however, is the interplay between Lovitz, Sloan, and Morse. Lovitz's keyboard washes and blistering pieces stack up against Sloan's fiery violin and Morse's jaw-dropping ability. Listening to Steve Morse play is to hear what shredding should sound like. He uses speed as an accent, not as a means for attention.

Picking highlights from this album is hard, since the whole thing is prime fusion. The band's rendition of Kashmir matches the majesty of the original, and it does so without the vocals or the overdubs. Kat Food is a showcase for LaRue's considerable bass skill, going from a rhythmic solo to a brief slap-fest. Take It Off the Top breaks down into a medley of covers, all of which amazingly flow into one another despite their disparate sources. The closing Cruise Control is a show-stopper, featuring arguably Morgenstein's best performance to date, as well as magnificent solos from Morse and Lavitz. This epic jam has all the good parts of fusion without devolving into the meandering self-indulgence that lesser fusion acts fall into in a live setting.

The Dregs picked a hell of a way to return, and this record belongs on the shelf of any fan of the band, fusion, rock, guitars, bass, drums,- You know what? If you love music, buy this album.

Grade: A

1800iareyay | 5/5 |

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