Exposé Online banner

Sea Level — Live in Chicago 1977
(Live Wire Productions LW2012, 1977/2015, )

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-01-29

Live in Chicago 1977 Cover art

While the Allman Brothers Band was taking a long break following Wipe The Windows… in 1976, three members of that band (keyboardist Chuck Leavell, drummer Jaimoe, and bassist Lamar Williams) split off to carry the instrumental fusion torch along with guitarist Jimmy Nalls. The show at hand on July 2nd 1977 captures the band at the peak of their powers on the day of the release of their first eponymous studio LP on the Capricorn label. Much of that first album is presented here in smoking live versions – “Grand Larceny,” “Rain In Spain,” “Tidal Wave,” and an amazing jazz-rock cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” as well as “Midnight Pass” from their yet to be released second album. Add to that a couple classic Allman tunes “Hot ‘Lanta” and “Statesboro Blues” (the latter is one of only two numbers here featuring vocals), an interesting nine-minute medley of patriotic quotes mixed in with Chuck Leavell’s original material written for the their performance at one of President Carter’s inaugural balls called “Patriotic Flag Waver.” Rounding out the set is Willie Dixon’s “I’m Ready,” Freddie King’s “Hideaway” and Neil Larsen’s “Midnight Pass,” all given the funky fusion treatment. While the band would later incorporate more vocals (though not to the exclusion of instrumentals) and more funk and soul to their sound with additional players, at this early stage they are a lean and mean instrumental unit, and these live versions from the same period show the band is truly a powerhouse to be reckoned with.


Filed under: Archives, 2015 releases, 1977 recordings

Related artist(s): Sea Level

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Annexus Quam - Beziehungen – German group Annexus Quam was one of the many experimental fusion groups that emerged from the early German "cosmic rock" scene. They quietly released two albums on Ohr (alongside giants like...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues