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

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Plastic Crimewave Sound - Plastic Crimewave Sound – Plastic Crimewave Sound is a Chicago-based space punk band much in the same vein as their contemporaries F/i, Richard Franecki, and The Vocokesh. PCS has been recording since the late 90s/early...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues