Lamar Williams

Agreed, the original line-up of the Allman Brothers Band with the dearly departed Duane and Berry was watershed, melding blues, jazz, and roots music unlike any other American band before or since.

However the second incarnation of the Brothers with pianist Chuck Leavell and the late Lamar Williams in the bass chair was rather astounding despite dissention within the ranks and the presence of my 1970s teenage infatuation – goddess Cherilyn Sarkisian Bono Allman.

Lamar, who carved his plectrums from Clorox Bleach containers, was a far more in-the-pocket player than his predecessor Mr. Oakley.  As such – Chuck, Gregg, Butch, Richard, and Jaimoe had space aplenty to further groove and improvise.

To my ears, Lamar’s finest work with the Brothers was on the only studio album wherein he appeared on every track: the flawed but occasionally dazzling Win, Lose or Draw (1975) as evidenced on Betts’ brilliant “High Falls.”

After the band’s demise, Lamar founded the jazz fusion ensemble Sea Level with Jaimoe and Chuck, which waxed two fine platters in 1977: Sea Level, and Cats on the Coast.  Mr. Williams, who should have been enshrined in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame with the other band members, passed at the age of 34 in 1983 due to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.