What is for you the record of the year 2005? The one you've been listened to several times a day? The one you will take with you when you will move to an island? The one you will send in the space to welcome the aliens???? ... and tell us in a few words, WHY?
For me, no doubts about it. The record of the year is "Hip Li’l Dreams" by the Sons of Champlin.
The first reason is non objective cause Bill Champlin is my favorite artist in music. His voice, his lyrics, his melodies and state of mind always touched me deeply.
The second reason is that record got EVERYTHING! Great music, great harmony vocals, great compositions that combine the best of the Sons music! If you love Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Toto, Tower of Power... You will love Sons of Champlin's "Hip Li’l Dreams". :-)
The Sons of Champlin are very much a part of the rich tapestry that was the San Francisco music scene of the Fillmore and Avalon Ballrooms.
Their funky Hammond B-3 and horns sound was utterly distinctive and quite unlike the rest of the Bay Area’s psychedelic guitar bands.
Celebrating the human spirit, philosophical themes driven by funk infused R&B and jazz based tempos continued to set the Sons apart. Often hard to define because of their eclectic mix of material, the Sons were playing acid jazz before it had a name.
Always known for their outstanding musicianship, they have become the benchmark against which other players have measured their chops.
The Sons released seven albums between 1968 and 1977. After a twenty year hiatus, the Sons reunited for a series of successful reunion gigs in 1997.
Bill Champlin agreed it was "too good not to continue." In an extraordinary partnership with the Expression Center for New Media, located in Emeryville, CA., the Sons got back into the recording studio.
On Hip Li’l Dreams, the Sons debut CD for DIG Music, Bill Champlin (vocals, organ, and guitar) appears with original members Geoff Palmer (keyboards, vibraphone, and baritone sax), bassist David Schallock and drummer James Preston. Joining them are guitarist Tal Morris, former Tower of Power member Mic Gillette (trumpet, trombone, and tuba) and Tom Saviano (saxes). Guests include Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, Bobby Kimball and Steve Madaio. Produced by Bill Champlin, Gary Platt and Tom Saviano, Hip Li’l Dreams packs all the energy and soul of their live shows on disc, as the Sons blast through 11 original songs.
1. For Joy
2. Dream On
3. I'm Not Your Lover
5. Hip Li'l Dreams
6. Soul Explosions
7. Bring Home The Gold
9. Star Outa' You
11. Light Up The Candles