When Was The Last Time You Played This Album?

Jazz/ Fusion

Sea Level “Cats on the Coast.”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is Sea Level, “Cats on the Coast.”

This 1978 was Sea Level’s second of what would be, five studio albums.

Kind of an Allman Brothers spin off, but not really. They were a little a little more ‘jazzy fusiony’ than the brothers.

Three of the band members did play with the Allman Brothers at one time or another.

Main founding member, Chuck Leavell was on keyboards. Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, drums. Lamar Williams, bass and Jimmy Nalls, guitar.

The most well known track on the album was ‘That’s Your Secret.’

Lamar Williams died of Agent Orange related cancer in 1983. Chuck Leavell has toured with the Rolling Stones for years.

‘That’s Your Secret’ peaked at #50 on the Billboard US Singles Chart.

‘Cats on the Coast’ peaked at #31 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.


Stanley Clarke “School Days”

Today’s Cool Album of The Day (#72 of the Series) is Stanley Clarke’s, “School Days.”

We have a large number of musicians in our group. I KNOW they know this one!!

Stanley Clarke was on a roll in 1976 when this was released. Playing bass for Chick Corea’s Return to Forever will do that for you.

He had just released three albums. ‘Children of Forever, Stanley Clarke and Journey to Love’ had both faired quite well. But ‘School Days’ was a monster for him.

The title track has been hailed as one of the most influential songs by a lead bassist in jazz fusion.

He had a wonderful band with him at this time as well. Keyboard player David Sancious had just left The E Street Band. George Duke also played keys.
Drums: well how about Billy Cobham, Gerry Brown and Steve Gadd.
Guitars: Ray Gomez and John McLaughlin.

He headline toured in some great venues in the era. I was lucky enough to see this show at Chicago’s Auditorium theater.

Stanley Clarke’s “School Days.” Today’s WAY-Cool Album of the Day!!


Pat Metheney Group “Pat Metheney Group”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is the eponymous release by “The Pat Metheny Group.”

While I don’t usually pick an artists best work for out group, this time I feel like I did.

I’d always loved Pat Metheny‘s guitar work. I was a big fan of his earlier works like ‘Bright Size Life’ and other releases, ‘New Chautauqua, Watercolors’ etc, but nothing he’s done came close to the ‘Pat Matheny Group’ record.

‘San Lorenzo’ and ‘Phase Dance’ lead the way. Possibly the two best songs Pat has ever recorded.

The band stayed in a nice groove for the next few years. “American Garage” and ”80, 81” were winners and so was the album released by Matheny and keyboardist Lyle Mays, “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls.”

Pat changed direction shortly after this. I had a chance to talk to him after hours at Summerfest in Milwaukee in 1980. He mentioned to me that he was going for a new sound. He described it to me as a cross between Ornette Coleman’s trumpet and an elephant! I think you can hear the beginnings of this sound on ‘Off-Ramp.’ He actually decribed it perfectly.

WOW, check out these live versions of ‘Phase Dance’ and ‘San Lorenzo’ that I found!