Dixie Dregs 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival DVD
The main feature on this DVD is the Dregs’ performance at the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival. The video and sound quality are great. This was their first performance outside of the United States, sort of a coming out party you could say. Four of the songs from this show were included on the 1979 album Night of the Living Dregs. The Bash and Patchwork have always been my favorite’s off the live portion of that album. It’s really cool to finally ‘see’ these song’s being played. Another standout is an early performance of Attila the Hun, which didn’t appear until the Unsung Hero’s album in 1981. Country House Shuffle is also great. It’s hard to believe this landmark show has been in the can all this time; almost 30 years! Any fusion or jazz fan will enjoy this show, but for the Dregs fan this is windfall. The only thing that may annoy some viewers is the camera angles. The main camera is on the left side of the stage which is where Morse and bassist Andy West are standing. The rest of the band are off to their left. As a result, whenever Morse faces the band (which he often does) his back is to the camera. For many of Morse’s solo’s, he is shown at an angle from his right side. There are a lot of shots of violinist Allen Sloan, since he is at the right side of the stage and pretty much faces the main camera straight on.
The bonus features on the DVD are the Dregs’ old TV appearances on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and American Bandstand. Die-hard’s like me already have these spots on VHS, but it’s awesome to have pristine looking versions now on DVD. The Don Kirshner performance is neat. They do Punk Sandwich. Morse plays a Fender Lead I (remember those Guitar Player ads from the early 80’s?), and the whole band is wearing tuxedo’s with no shirts and white bow-tie’s.
This DVD is in the must have category for Steve Morse/Dixie Dregs fans, but fusion fans in general will dig it too. http://richmurray.typepad.com firstname.lastname@example.org