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 LynchPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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