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Sea Level

Sea Level - Best Of - 1990 - Polydor

An excellent compilation for this short-lived spinoff from The Allman Brothers band. With Chuck Leavell and guitarist Jimmy Nalls. © Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

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 phoenetic pun of their leader's name (C. Leavell). They were the first splinter group to emerge from the great 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 compilation make this one of the best "best of" CDs anywhere. With Chuck Leavell, Jimmy Nalls, the late Lamar Williams, Jaimoe, Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey, Joe English, and more, Sea Level were one of the best and most influential bands ever assembled. N.B: "Sea Level - Best Of" was originally released in 1977 on the Capricorn label, and only contained Tracks 1 - 10. "Buy the band's "Cats On The Coast" album, and listen to the classic Allman Brothers "Eat a Peach" album.


1 The Rain in Spain - Chuck Leavell
2 Shake a Leg - Ed Hoerner
3 Tidal Wave - Chuck Leavell
4 Nothing Matters But the Fever - Chuck Leavell
5 That's Your Secret - Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey
6 It Hurts to Want It So Bad - Steve Smith, Tim Smith, Charlie Feldman
7 Storm Warning - Chuck Leavell
8 Midnight Pass - Neil Larsen
9 King Grand - Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey
10 Living in a Dream - Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey, Arch Pearson
11 This Could Be the Worst - Randall Bramblett
12 Tear Down This Wall - Chuck Leavell
13 Canine Man - Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey
14 Twenty Miles from Nowhere - Jim Nalls

Tracks 1-4 from: Sea Level (1977) Tracks 5-8 from: Cats On The Coast (1977) Tracks 9-11 from: On The Edge (1978) Tracks 12-14 from: Long Walk On A Short Pier (1979)


Jim Nalls (Guitar (Acoustic)), (Guitar), (Guitar (Electric)), (Harmony Vocals)
Randall Bramblett (Percussion), (Keyboards), (Saxophone), (Vocals)
Chuck Leavell (Percussion), (Keyboards), (Vocals)
Davis Causey (Guitar (Acoustic)), (Guitar (Electric)
Lamar Williams (Bass), (Harmony Vocals)
Jon Smith (Sax (Tenor)),(Horn Arrangements)
Tony Dagradi (Sax (Tenor)
Harold Williams (Sax (Baritone)
Charlie Brent (Sax (Alto)), (Sax (Baritone)),(Horn Arrangements)
Donald McClure, Leo Labranche, Rudolph Carter, Charles Fairley, Earl Ford (Horns)
Joe Woolie, Rodney Lafon, Ed Dowling (Trumpets)
Jaimoe (Percussion), (Drums)
George Weaver (Drums)
David Earle Johnson (Percussion), (Conga)
Joe English (Percussion), (Drums), (Harmony Vocals)
Tommy Talton (Vocals), (Harmony Vocals)


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