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Sea Level

Jazz-rock 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 with an expanded lineup including vocalist/saxophonist/keyboardist Randall Bramblett, guitarist Davis Causey, and drummer George Weaver to cut Cats on the Coast, also released in 1977, followed in 1978 by On the Edge featuring Paul McCartney & Wings drummer Joe English; although Jaimoe had returned to the Allmans, Sea Level recorded two more albums -- 1979's Long Walk on a Short Pier for Capricorn (finally released in the U.S. in 1998) and 1980's Ball Room for Arista -- 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? Randall Bramblett also subsequently restarted his solo career that had begun before joining Sea Level, issuing a number of critically acclaimed albums on the New West label after the turn of the millennium. Sadly, on January 25, 1983 Williams died of cancer, which some believed was attributable to his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Jimmy Nalls was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1995, although he continued performing and recording in the face of the disease's symptoms, issuing the solo CD Ain't No Stranger in 1999. ~ Jason Ankeny & Dave Lynch, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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I had their first album on cassette and an auto-reverse tape deck in my truck. It stayed in the deck until it wore out. Years later, I was switching out all my music to CDs and I searched eBay and Amazon to find Sea Level albums. It seems there was an argument between the artist and the label that prevented issuing the CDs. I ended up spending $35 for a promo copy to an Israeli radio station.
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Here is how I discovered this band today. I was listening to a 1977 radio commercial for a Marshall Tucker Band concert with special guests Sea Level. I never heard of this band in my life and was curious if Pandora had their music. Of course they do...you have to love Pandora! Anyway I am really enjoying this band. Great music!
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Love these guys!
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vwhope
Jimmy and Chuck had a language ALL their own! Priceless!
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This is ridin in a rag top ,down a dusty road, sitting up high ,with both arms in the air music
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Joe English - killer drummer and great vocalist as well -
worked with him a few times in the mid-80's
;)
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I love this band. I saw them open for ARS way back in '76 or '77 at an outdoor show in Shreveport, LA. Honestly, over the years I had forgotten about Sea Level, but after Wounded Bird started re-releasing their catalogue, I picked up all their releases. What a great band!
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Bio misses RANDALL BRAMBLETT WHO SINCE Worked w Steve winwood and has solo albums. Chuck Level is fantastic. Jimmy balls has Parkinson's disease. Also Paul McCartney's drummer toured e them.
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autorentalso f b r u
what about Randall Brmblett?
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Rain In Spain is one of the best instrumental tracks anybody has ever recored - regardless of genre or style - period. Jimmy Nalls nails it. The band Sea Level is a level above just about everyone else....
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Just discovered this band from reading a bio of the allman brothers, one of my new favorit bands
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Sea level ROCKS
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Only two Sea Level songs I can remember,and I just heard Nothing Matters but the Fever. Now all I have to wait for is King Grand.
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Fellow Sea Level fans: Please join me in requesting Pandora add more Sea Level albums. It's the only way it will happen. Just send your emails to this address: suggest-musi c @ p a n d o r a . c o m
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The Sealevel bio should give Randall Bramlett some credit. He was a mainstay in the band for at least two albums. Great singer and Great horn player.
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traceylmahad y
panama 1978 nice jams!
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I wore out my "Long Walk on a Short Pier" cassett, and can't find a replacement. I love their music.
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Sea Level -what a great album - will do on suggesting it -
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Pandora is open to adding older albums to its inventory -- anyone care to join me in requesting Sea Level's killer debut album, simply titled Sea Level? (suggest-mus i c @ p a n d o r a . c o m )
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KGON radio and Paramount Northwest in Portland, Oregon used to have 92 cent concerts back in the 70's when I was in High school. I saw Chuck and the guys one night on a cheap date with my girlfriend. Richard Torrence opened. It was a pretty good show as I recall, worth every penny!
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My gosh I hadn't even thought of these guys in years, I remember hearing them on "Krazy Dog Krazy Boy" (KDKB) in Phoeniz, AZ. Back then it was a "progressive rock" radio station...mm m m . . t h e good old days of radio I'd say.
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Interesting comments, Brian. Indeed, Cats on the Coast is a real winner. But I'd have to say my favorite Sea Level album is their debut. I don't recall the name -- maybe just Sea Level -- but it had a pair of feet on the cover. Anyway, the album's version of Scarborough Fair is simply awesome. I used to own all their vinyl.
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Simply Fantastic. The 'Cats on the Coast' album is one of the most enjoyable records to listen to that I'm proud to own. The combination of humor, heartbreak, and sophisticate d musicianship create a lasting achievement. A real gem.
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good ole macon musicians can't be beat for the time my god what killer design in melody
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muzicricky
I HEARD OF THIS GROUP IN THE EARLY DAYS OF FM RADIO WHEN THAT FREQUENCY WAS MAKING IT'S MARK IN THE MARKETPLACE. THEY MAY NOT HAVE BEEN AS BIG A NAME AS WEATHER REPORT, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, OR ANY OF THE OTHER FUSION OR JAZZ-ROCK GROUPS ONE COULD THINK OF, BUT AFTER A FEW LISTENS, YOU'LL BE A FAN FOR LIFE.

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