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Dixie Dregs - What If CD (album) cover

WHAT IF

Dixie Dregs

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.23 | 139 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Starhammer
Prog Reviewer
5 stars What if the words ran out...

This album is a pristine example of the fusion sub-genre, combining elements of symphonic rock, bluegrass, jazz, and funk.

The Good: Whilst it would be easy for these variances in style to result in a juxtapositional discontinuity, the album actually flows brilliantly with an underlying southern rock feel to it. There is so much going on here that it's impossible to fully appreciate given only a couple of listens, and yet it's also instantly accessible. It opens with Take It Off The Top, a superb composition which to this day remains one of my all time favourite instrumentals.

Following up such a strong opener is a near impossible task but they somehow manage it with the truly epic Odyssey. The sudden time signature changes and contrasting dynamics reminds me of a jazzier Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 2. Other comparisons can be made, as the album's title track draws parallels to Mahavishnu Orchestra whilst Ice Cakes is reminiscent of Sorceress by Return to Forever. The final song, Night Meets Light, is one of the release's calmer pieces, but also one of the most intricate with some really interesting guitar work.

The individual performances found throughout are all outstanding, but a particular mention goes to Rod Morgenstein's drumming which takes the record to another level.

The Bad: I'm not a huge fan of Little Kids which to me sounds a couple of centuries out of place, but on the plus side it is the album's shortest track.

The Verdict: One of the best instrumental albums ever recorded.

Starhammer | 5/5 |

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