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Sea Level

Sea Level - Sea Level - 1977 - Capricorn

Although Sea Level were a relatively short lived rock/jazz/blues fusion group, only lasting from 1976 to 1982, they created some great, memorable music, and like the great jazz rock band, Steely Dan, they were hugely important in making rock fans much more receptive to jazz. The band's name was based on a phonetic pun of their leader's name (C. Leavell). They were the first splinter group to emerge from the Allman Brothers Band. (Chuck Leavell formed Sea Level with ABB drummer Jaimoe Johanson.) The band toured relentlessly during the late '70s and released five critically acclaimed albums. The band's music was full of catchy phrases. Their musical ability was amazing, and the songs on this album demonstrate this. With Chuck Leavell, Jimmy Nalls, the late Lamar Williams, and more, Sea Level were one of the best and most influential bands ever assembled. Buy the band's "Cats On The Coast" album, and listen to the classic Allman Brothers "Eat a Peach" release. Check out Sea Level's "Best Of" album @ SEALEV/BOF

N.B: Many people mistakenly associate this type of music with some of the bland, sugary, "sound the same", background/elevator smooth jazz variety. True, these bland albums are churned out every day. But many "smooth jazz" albums are excellent, containing original and innovative music. It can get boring trying to define jazz, jazz rock, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, etc. Everybody to their own musical tastes, but A: music from bands like Sea Level is not to be sneered at, and certainly not bland and unoriginal as some music "critics" make out, and B: It is essential that all music on this blog has some degree of genuine musical merit.


A1 Rain In Spain 6:38
A2 Shake A Leg 4:02
A3 Tidal Wave 5:43
A4 Country Fool 3:40

B1 Nothing Matters But The Fever 7:23
B2 Grand Larceny 5:25
B3 Scarborough Fair - Trad. 5:33
B4 Just A Good Feeling 3:04

All songs composed by Chuck Leavell, except A2 by Edward R. Hoerner, B2 by Neil Larsen, and B3, Trad. with lyrics adapted by P.Simon, & A.Garfunkel


Jimmy Nalls - Guitar, Vocals
Lamar Williams RIP - Bass, Vocals
Chuck Leavell - Keyboards, Lead Vocals
Jai Johanny Johanson - Drums, Percussion
Rudolph Carter, Charles Fairley, Earl Ford, Leo LaBranche, Donald McClure - Horns (Various)


Sea Level is the name of a group that mixed jazz, blues and rock that existed between 1976 and 1981. Formed with the initial destruction of The Allman Brothers Band, the group that evolved into Sea Level was the trio "We Three". Featuring Lamar Williams (bass), Jaimoe (drums) and Chuck Leavell (piano, keyboards, vocals), all then-members of the Allman Brothers, the trio would occasionally open shows for the group in 1975 and 1976. With the Allmans' first disbanding in 1976, the trio added guitarist Jimmy Nalls and named the band based on a phoenetic pun of their leader's name (C. Leavell). They toured relentlessly, eventually signing with Capricorn Records (home of the Allman Brothers) and recording their debut album. After the release of their first album, the group expanded to a septet with the additions of Davis Causey (guitar), George Weaver (percussion) and Randall Bramblett (saxophones, keyboards and vocals). That configuration recorded the group's second album (which produced a moderate "hit" with "That's Your Secret"). By the time of the third, Jaimoe and Weaver had both left, replaced by Joe English. The sextet of Bramblett, Causey, English, Leavell, Nalls and Williams recorded the fourth album, unreleased in the United States for nearly twenty years, adding percussionist Matt Greeley for their fifth and final album, issued on Arista in 1980. Their greatest hits album (CD) wrapped up their body of work, minus a handful of appearances on various compilation albums (mostly Southern Rock). © 2005-2008 la la media, inc. All rights reserved

Fusion combo Sea Level was formed in 1976 by keyboardist Chuck Leavell, bassist Lamar Williams, and drummer Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson following their exit from the Allman Brothers Band; guitarist Jimmy Nalls completed the original lineup, which in 1977 issued its self-titled debut LP on the Capricorn label. Honing its distinctive marriage of rock, blues, and jazz through relentless touring, the group returned to the studio to cut 1978's Cats on the Coast, followed later that year by On the Edge; although Jaimoe returned to the Allmans, Sea Level recorded two more albums — 1979's Long Walk on a Short Pier and 1980's Ball Room — before dissolving. Leavell later emerged as a sought-after session player and producer, also touring with the Rolling Stones; in 1998, he issued his debut solo LP, What's in That Bag? Sadly, Williams died of Agent Orange-related cancer on January 25, 1983. © Jason Ankeny, allmusic.com


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Anonymous said...

Wow! Have you been peeking at my music "needs" list? This is another album I've been looking for for years. I have Cats on the Coast, but this first album was a favorite when I was a kid. Listening to it again is even more impressive…most of it has aged very well and it blends very nicely with its more contemporary counterparts..definitely ahead of its time.

When this album was in my youthful rotation I had no idea it was the remnants of The Allman Brothers…but knowing that from your blog, it is very easy to hear that influence.

Thank you again for blasting my past up to my present.

Cheers, Yim :)

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks. Yim. I think we both have the same musical tastes. TTU soon

Mickey P. said...

Well done, Sea Level are overlooked and lost in the hordes of Southern Rock groups. They are not rock to those expecting Skynyrd, etc. but to the jazz fraternity they are dismissed as a redneck band (he foolishly assumes). Good music is good music, the world needs to hear songs like Grand Larceny and Nothing Matters But The Fever. Keep up the good work. ;-)

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Mickey P. I share your philosophy as regards music. I have never excluded anything with musical merit from this blog.I will even post Jedward if they come up with something worthwhile! (And the earth is flat!). Thanks, MP. Keep in touch