A songwriter and studio musician behind troves of soul, rock and R&B records from the late ‘50s onwards, it shines a fresh light on Semper’s influential behind-the-scenes role. He was the creative force behind Hammond organ classic “Makin’ Waves”, the cult 1977 Bay Area funk record “The Perfect Circle”, and a collaborator with the likes of Donny Hathaway, Jimmy Smith and Brenton Wood. It’s the third release on the “reissues and oddities” imprint launched last November by Peterson.
On “Inner City Review”, Semper is backed by his killer "The" George Semper Orchestra players comprised of the core Merry Clayton band members, as a showcase for their distinctive cosmic funk sound (including two of only three tracks credited to them as a standalone group), featuring drummer Ollie Brown, who would later work with the likes of Minnie Ripperton, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder. Originally released on the obscure SECO Records Hollywood label, only 100 copies were pressed. Gilles bought the record some years ago at Groove Merchants in San Francisco, but only recently posted it on Instagram where it was spotted by George Semper’s son and archivist Joel S. Brockman. The record has been re-mastered directly from the original analogue tapes, and includes new sleeve notes from Brockman. A multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, acclaimed for his innovative funky organ sound, Semper’s Hammond-playing style was an influence on The Doors and The Rolling Stones. His career saw him cross paths with the likes of Charles Stepney, and – as the co-owner of several influential San Diego venues – presented Frank Zappa’s first professional show, booking him to open for Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix.
An all-killer, rarely heard collection of music, documenting an important moment in Semper’s career, as he laid the foundations for the independent-minded Inner City Records label, as well as the game-changing Bay Area funk sound that has made “The Perfect Circle” a sought after cult classic.