This week’s Vinyl Vault feature will be a 1978 album by the band Sea Level, entitled “On the Edge” released on Capricorn Records. The group was an offshoot of the Allman Brothers Band and “On the Edge” was their third album.

After the death of Duane Allman in 1971 and Barry Oakley in 1972, the Allman Brothers Band was faced with adding new members if it was to carry on. Instead of adding another guitarist, the Brothers opted to bring on keyboardist Chuck Leavell and continue with Dickie Betts as the single guitarist in the band. Lamar Williams was tapped as the new bass player to replace Oakley. That lineup recorded the “Brothers and Sisters” album which proved to be a huge commercial success yielding songs like “Ramblin’ Man,” “Jessica” and “Southbound.”

By the mid-1970s, Leavell and Williams started their own side project: Sea Level, the name being a play on Leavell’s name. Whereas jazz was one of many influences in the Allman Brothers’ sound, jazz played a much stronger role in the sound of Sea Level, although the blues and southern rock were ever-present. Sea Level never achieved the kind of commercial success enjoyed by the Allman Brothers, but Sea Level released several albums ranking high in musical integrity and aesthetic enjoyment.

Besides Leavell on keyboards and vocals and Willaims on bass, the band, for this album included Jimmy Nalls and Davis Causey on guitars, Randall Bramlett on woodwinds, keyboards and vocals and Joe English on drums.

Join Geoff Anderson for “ ” on the next Vinyl Vault, this Tuesday, November 28 at 8:30 pm on KUVO JAZZ.

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