Could The Allman Brothers be considered prog rock?
Im not saying they are or were progressive, but they were arguably the most technical blues based band. Their music, in particularly their live music, consisted of soloing from all instruments, great guitar and drum solos, organ solos, bass solos. Just about everyone in the band would do some soloing. Their music also incorporated elements of jazz. For example, take the song in memeory of elizabeth reed, it was a great jazzy dedication to miles davis. could they be considered progressive in any way? And even in modern times they are still incorporating jazz and even eastern indian music. Derek Trucks is a brilliant guitarist. Trucks developed a love of Pakistani and East Indian qawwali music, and was moved by the sound of artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, prompting him to study at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California which is where he learned to play the sarod, leaving lingering strains of Indian music in his guitar work.
Progressive rock songs also often have extended instrumental passages, marrying the classical solo tradition with the improvisational traditions of jazz and psychedelic rock. All of these tend to add length to progressive rock songs, which may last longer than twenty minutes. I think The Allman Brothers certainly match this description.
In his 2004 article “Making Sense of Rock’s Tonal Systems,” Walter Everett identifies six tonal systems with nine separate classifications for rock music. For blues-based rock music, Everett describes the tonal system as follows: “minor-pentatonic-inflected major-mode systems. Common-practice harmonic and voice-leading behaviors not always emphasized at the surface, but may be articulated at deeper levels and/or in the accompaniment.” The music of the Allman Brothers also conforms to another of Everett’s systems, “Major-mode systems, or modal systems, with mixture from modal scale degrees. Common-practice harmonic and voice-leading behaviors would be common but not necessary.”
It is important to emphasize that the Allman Brothers Band was not just a blues-rock group. Although their original music embodies the spirit of the blues, it certainly does not adhere strictly to its formal rules. Their music also contains elements of jazz and classical music that were not especially common to rock, at least in America at that time. Butch Trucks called the musical blending that took place an “honest, sincere melding of all those different backgrounds with people that could really play.”