He's been called the best-known unknown singer in the world, a musician's musician, a full-tilt street poet. He's Bill Champlin, a founding member of the legendary San Francisco band Sons of Champlin, and songwriter with two GRAMMY® awards and six critically-acclaimed solo albums. Fed up with the music industry, he hasn't released a solo album in 10 years, leading fans to ask, "Where have you been?" This cult figure has been hiding in plain sight: playing in the band Chicago and singing some of its biggest hits, and penning a remarkable collection of songs, No Place Left To Fall.
Bill Champlin, the former leader of the Sons of Champlin (1965-1977) and, for the previous 11 years, a singer/keyboardist with Chicago, was on tour promoting his third solo album, Burn Down the Night, when the then-46-year-old and his four-piece band appeared on the German television program Ohne Filter on October 6, 1993, a show reproduced 11 years later on this DVD. In a performance running 58 minutes, he performed 11 songs, five of them from Burn Down the Night. Champlin has a rangy, expressive voice that he uses in the manner of an R&B singer like Ray Charles or James Brown, and during the show he traded off between electric guitar and his Hammond organ, which he played in a style reminiscent of Jimmy Smith.
CWF is a West Coast AOR supergroup teaming up Toto’s Joseph Williams with former Chicago vocalist Bill Champlin and guitarist/producer Peter Friestedt. The trio have released a live DVD already and Williams & Friestedt released a cracking AOR album a few years ago on the same label…
Recorded in Bruce Walford's studio in San Anselmo, this album sees the Sons in transition. Tim Cain, the sax player who co-founded the band with Bill Champlin back in 1965, had left, as had trumpet player Jim Beem. The stripped down band has an opportunity to stretch out on a number of fine Bill Champlin compositions, and the album also features the recorded debut of Terry Haggerty's "Follow Your Heart", a tune that would stay in the band's set list until Haggerty's departure in 2001 (a more polished version of the tune appeared on the out of print Circle of Love album, and there is a great performance on The Sons Live CD released in 1997). Soon after the release of this album Bill Champlin took the first of his sabaticals from the group, returning to a new rhythm section and a revised name (Yogi Phlegm) several months later. Not quite as good as Welcome to the Dance, this album still cooks pretty hard and is definitely worth a listen.
Back in November of 1979, deeply respected saxophonist and arranger Tom Saviano assembled a group of outstanding musicians and vocalists to create an incredible jazz infused R&B/Pop debut album under the band name HEAT. At the time, Saviano had just come off of working extensively with Melissa Manchester as musical director on her tours as well as in the studio. But now his HEAT project was literally turning up the fire on his talents as a writer, producer, arranger and musician.
Japanese only Live CDs release from the Jay Graydon All Stars featuring Bill Champlin, Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams, and more! CD features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). Two-time Grammy winner/arranger/producer/songwriter/guitarist Jay Graydon's credits include hits by Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire ("After the Love Is Gone," co-written with David Foster and Bill Champlin), Steely Dan, Dionne Warwick, Air Supply, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau ("Mornin'"), Breakin' Away, Heart's Horizon, High Crime, Jarreau, This Time, the Manhattan Transfer ("Twilight Zone"), George Benson ("Turn Your Love Around"), Cher, Christopher Cross, DeBarge ("Who's Holding Donna Now"), Barry Manilow (Even Now), and El Debarge, among many others. He also was involved with the soundtracks to Ghostbusters, Miami Vice, and St. Elmo's Fire.
Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be, Santa? is actually a retitled reissue of Chicago's 1998 album Chicago 25: The Christmas Album with six newly recorded extra tracks, bringing the running time up near 75 minutes.
Without a doubt the strongest and rockiest release from mastermind Frederic Slama in classic AOR style next to Steet Talk, Radioactive and Lionville feat. an incredible lien-up. Being the twelfth release under the “AOR” moniker, The Secrets Of LA is a stepping stone between classic AOR sound many of the guest singers and musicians are associated with and the modern-day production and approach to the genre. And for the listeners, it remains a real trademark of quality in this kind of music; there are no fillers to this album, each and every track being worth attention. Highly recommended.