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Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
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Artist: Dixie Dregs Title: Greatest Hits Live Genre: Rock-Instrumental Label: King Biscuit Flower Hour Archive Series-www.kingbiscuit.com Website: www.stevemorse.com When you think of great guitar players Clapton, Blackmore, Beck, and Page come to mind, but how often do you hear the name Steve Morse? I would be willing to bet not nearly enough. He is in my top ten all-time great rock guitarists and his band the Dixie Dregs is one of my favorites, they always have been. I do have an affinity for entertaining instrumental music performed by excellent musicians, and that is what the Dregs clearly define in my estimation. King Biscuit Flower consistently puts out quality performances and the Dixie Dregs Greatest Hits Live just adds another to their long list. In 1979, the band had three years into their recording career yet they had built up a head of steam and were playing at their optimum best. As the liner notes indicate, they were heady at that point but could back it up with incredible performances (200 per year) that matched and at times outdid their studio efforts. After hearing an outstanding live recording such as this it came as no surprise to me they were able to duplicate and enhance their catalog of songs in front of an audience so brilliantly. They were indeed superb musicians that knew exactly how to present their unique brand of instrumental fire. They played a little bit of this and a little bit of that, to come up with one of the most unusual sounds available for the discerning ear yet not to complex and advanced for the average listener. This CD is 12 tracks of prime and uncut Dixie Dregs featuring a young guitarist that would soon become a legend in the eyes of his peers and fans alike. They were not a million selling blockbuster band, but one thing you could count on was innovative ground breaking instrumental fusion that nobody else was creating. I knew I discovered something special back in the early '80s when someone turned me on to their album What If. This CD further validates my convictions that Steve Morse and the Dixie Dregs continue to be an important cog in the ever-turning musical wheel. ©"Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck November 24, 2003 1. Intro - :08 2. Free Fall - 4:31 3. Country House Shuffle- 3:52 4. More Down - 3:52 5. Ice Cakes - 5:46 6. Travel Tunes - 4:04 7. Night of the Living Dregs - 4:06 8. Night Meets Light - 9:08 9. Punk Sandwich - 3:22 10. The Bash - 6:29 11. Cruise Control - 6:41 12. Take It off the Top - 4:42 Rating- 5 / 5 Dixie Dregs in 1979: Steve Morse - Guitar T. Lavitz - Keyboards Rod Morgenstein - Drums Allen Sloan - Electric Violin Andy West - Bass Listen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here

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Steve Morse Band
: Split Decision 2002 Magna Carta MA-9058-2 Cyberhome: http://www.magnacarta.net Steve Morse returns once again in Split Decision with his three piece ensemble including Dave LaRue and Van Romaine, giving us more of the guitar wizardry and diverse style that we have come to expect from him. The effort is comprised of clean, rich tonal texturing, complex melodies and thoughtful compositions in the flavor of eclectic progressive rock that Steve Morse helped to pioneer. The purely instrumental compositions consist of well-balanced dynamics, melodies, harmonies, and sparsely occurring faster sections. One of the aspects of Steve Morse's compositional style that strikes me in a good way, is that he has reached a level of maturity in his composition that he does not need to prove his technical capabilities with a lot of unnecessarily fast and overwhelming guitar technicianry. Morse instead focuses on striving for melodic invention and compositional vision, which are much more difficult objectives to tackle and make the music enjoyable to listen to. But, don't take me the wrong way, Steve Morse is still a guitar wizard with all the technical proficiency we have come to expect from him on Split Decision. However, there is more stress put on compositional content and stylistic diversity, which suits me just fine. STEVE MORSE BAND CDs here . . . As far as standouts go on Split Decision, there are too many good instrumentals here to narrow the field. The diversity in style across this effort will surely lend different compositions as favorites to different listeners based on their personal preferences. However, the tracks that appealed to me most were "Busybodies" with its classical overtones, "Great Mountain Spirits" with its supernatural feel, "Moment's Comfort" with its rich, inventive, relaxing melodies, as well as all of the remaining tracks on the second half of the CD. If you like virtuoso guitar work in the context of uninvasive compositional content, then Split Decision will find a good home in your collection. I am especially impressed with Steve Morse's compositional maturity on the latter half of Split Decision. These slower compositions have an epic feel of greatness to them that reach deep into the soul where Morse pulled them from. ~ Christopher Ruel, EER-MUSIC.com Tracks: 1. Heightened Awareness 2. Busybodies 3. Marching Orders 4. Mechanical Frenzy 5. Great Mountain Spirits 6. Majorly Up 7. Gentle Flower, Hidden Beast 8. Moment's Comfort 9. Clear Memories 10. Midnight Daydream 11. Back Porch 12. Natural Flow Personnel: Steve Morse - All guitars Dave LaRue - Bass Van Romaine - Drums
Morse like you never have heard before!! Grab MAJOR IMPACTS now!
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Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
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Steve Morse: Major Impacts (CD: 51:09 ), MA-9042-2 2000 release, Magna Carta Cyberhome: www.magnacarta.net Whew, did Morse surprise me on this new release, Major Impacts!

He has a new sound. "Why?" Because this is a "tribute" type of project. With much forethought, fun, and well-done planning -- Morse purposefully emulates the great axers' influences on his already phenomenally famous guitar artistry and supersonic chops, speed-limit decimations.

Morse echoes Clapton's Cream era, covers the supernova-gamma ray blasts of Hendrix, bellows blues-rock-fusion-meister Jeff Beck style, recognizes fusion's ostinato-lord, John McLaughlin, crunches nicely a sound-mirror of the now slim-bodied, but still heavy-sounding, Leslie West's Mountain days. Open-tuning acoustics point to Page's acoustic Led Zep and yet there are many more surprises I leave for you to discover yourself.

I am digging this disc even more than the recent Dixie Dregs' California Screamin' release. "Why?" Simple. Morse is a super-duper, fine guitarist, a real ripper on the riffmeter but his song-writing parameters are sadly narrow. Every time I bought a Dregs or Steve Morse Band release after the superb early releases, I found myself lulled into "sounds just like", aural ennui.

California Screamin' is a worthwhile purchase for those wanting a decent nostalgia rush and for those needing a fresh listen to Morse and gang. But it is essentially a very good live jam, band reunion thang, BTDT. If you want to hear fresh Morse and get a healthy dose of classic rock/fusion guitar all over again then grab Major Impacts first! It smokes!

Personnel: Steve Morse - All guitars and overdubs Dave LaRue - Bass, fretless too Van Romaine - Drums

Track Listing: 1. Derailleur Gears 2. Well, I Have 3. TruthOla 4. Migration 5. Led On 6. The White Light 7. How Does It Feel? 8. Bring It To Me 9. Something Gently Weeps 10. Free In The Park 11. Prognosis

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Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
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Dixie Dregs: California Screamin’ (CD, 61:25); Zebra Records, ZD 44021-21, 2000 Cyberhome: http://www.zebradisc.com and www.stevemorse.com What is there to say to the uniformed? Never heard of Steve Morse, Dixie Dregs or The Dregs? If you haven’t -- you just don’t know your fusion nor your award-winning guitarists. Not too long after The Mahavishnu Orchestra exploded onto the electrified jazz rock fusion scene, a young Southerner, (U.S., that is), was inspired enough to start crankin’ out his own brand of fusion with a southern-fried, dust-kickin’, funkified, and hard-rockin’ flavor. Steve Morse was the envy of guitarists the world over. His riffs are strong, fluid, mean, speed-racer cool, and he knows how to rock. Plenty of space was left for all the Dregs to jam out and conversational soloing was like a good olde “hollerin’ contest”. The Dixie Dregs became The Dregs, then folded, then became the Steve Morse Band, then solo Steve Morse, then Deep Purple with Steve Morse, then the reformed Dixie Dregs, etc., etc. and now, (drum roll please), EVERYBODY IS BACK TOGETHER again. Yee-haw! Oh man, this reunion thing is catching like wildfire. Anyway, the whole gang is back together on this culling of a three-nite-live-reunion jam-fest. Morse, Lavitz, Morgenstein, Sloan, and West -- are joined by LaRue, Goodman, and Dweezil Zappa. Everybody throws down, doing all the golden fusion/rock/country oldies. Even Zappa and the Allman Brothers tunes are covered. The riffs are flyin’ like gravel slingin’ from under a souped-up stock car runnin’ down that there country road up yonder. Fun is the word here. Musicianship is stunning and the crowd loves it. My fav cuts were the dream-ridden, Mahavishnu- meets-Morse, soul-travel cuts; “Night Meets Light” and “What If” both from my fav Dregs release, What If. This is a great “meet-the-Dregs” CD for newbies or a decent live “best-of” but if you already own many other Dregs releases or Morse-related CDs, this CD will be merely an altered echo versus a disc of new revelations. For a great new taste of Morse, I highly recommend his 2000 release, Major Impacts. All-in-all, a superb release by matchless musicians. ~ John W. Patterson Listen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here

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Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
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Steve Morse: Structural Damage 1995, Magna Carta CyberHome: www.SteveMorse.com Structural Damage joins Steve Morse once again with Dave LaRue and Van Romaine in Morse's 1995 release. The Steve Morse Band compiles some complex, guitar-centric compositions that are characterized by explorative melodies, chordal harmonization, and time signatures. Structural Damage consists of the signature Steve Morse sound that is a fusion of progressive melodies, driving rhythms, and speedy string slinging. Morse demonstrates more technical domination of the fretboard while venturing off the beaten path with progressive chordal arrangements and harmonies. Once again, Morse covers many different styles and genres in his compositions, as we have now come to expect from him. The compositions that struck my fancy from Structural Damage were "Smokey Mtn. Drive" with its bluegrass roots, "Slice Of Time" with its Bach-ian classical overtones, and "Foriegn Exchange" with its rich-textured acoustic chordal harmonies. Though Structural Damage is impressive in its progressive and explorative content, it seems to me that much of the material is technical in nature and may not be easily accessible to a wide listening audience. But, I am sure that to an educated, guitar-oriented audience, this music will satisfy the expectations that this audience has for Steve Morse. Tracks: 1) Sacred Ground 2) Good To Go 3) Dreamland 4) Barbary Coast 5) Smokey Mt. Drive 6) Slice Of Time 7) Native Dance 8) Just Out Of Reach 9) Rally Cry 10) Foreign Exchange 11) Structural Damage ~ Christopher Ruel ~ www.ChrisRuel.com Listen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here

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Jazz Fusion Progressive world music
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Steve Morse: Coast To Coast 1992, Magna Carta CyberHome: www.SteveMorse.com Steve Morse offers us an eclectic collection of guitar instrumentals that span a gambit of genres and run a gauntlet of technicianry on his 1992 release Coast To Coast. Morse's playing is nothing short of spectacular as he demonstrates his proficiency across the many styles that his arsenal encompasses. Morse demonstrates tonal mastery with the tones he couples to his playing that articulate the precision in his playing. Morse's virtuoso guitar work and the backup instrumentation is tactfully balanced resulting in a coherent format for Morse's impressive chops. There are a number of tracks of interest on Coast To Coast. The album opens with the blazing and clean pattern lead work on "User Friendly". "Collateral Damage" follows with more speedy fretboard work that is balanced with some of Steve's trademark progressive melodies. "Runaway Train" is a sizzling, finger-picking extravaganza that demonstrates Morse's grasp on the Chet Atkins country-picking variety of instrumental guitar playing. This track has some impressive finger work that follows some attention-keeping changes that take many unexpected directions into unusual harmonization for this genre of music, but not so unusual for Morse. "Long Lost" has some epic-feeling melodies that the guitar work centers around, another good cut. Morse lets the tiger out of the cage on "The Oz" that features a catchy theme and another blistering, clean lead that will dishearten the most eager wanna-be guitar slingers. Coast To Coast closes with a classically influenced composition "Flat Baroque" that demonstrates Morse's depth in composition with his ability to fuse different genres and breadth that coherently spans multiple genres simultaneously. In summary, there is good reason that Steve Morse gets the constant critical acclaim that he does. Coast To Coast is yet another solid footstep in the Steve Morse journey that has established his legacy. No progressive collection would be complete without it. Tracks: 1) User Friendly 2) Collateral Damage 3) Get It In Writing 4) Morning Rush Hour 5) Runaway Train 6) Long Lost 7) The Z 8) Over Easy 9) Cabin Fever 10) Flat Baroque ~ Christopher Ruel ~ www.ChrisRuel.com Listen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here

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