V/A - Inner City Review LP

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“Inner City Review” by George Semper is the latest release to land on Gilles Peterson’s Arc label, the first full re-issue of the songwriter and musician’s ultra rare 1973 compilation. 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 second release on the “reissues and oddities” imprint launched earlier this year by Peterson.

On “Inner City Review”, Semper is backed by his George Semper Orchestra, a showcase for their distinctive cosmic funk sound (including the two only 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 Merchant in San Francisco, and 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.

The collection shows the different sides to Semper, from uptempo doowop to lovelorn, downtempo soul jams, with themes that weigh on life, romance and the day-to-day reality of inner city life.


A1 Jimmy Hayes - Goody Goody Gumdrops

A2 Lewis Flournoy - Cold Blooded Woman

A3 The Love Affair & Troy Raglin - You're So Good To Me

A4 Lewis Flournoy - That's The Way It Is

A5 Lewis Flournoy - Let's Live and Let's Live

B1 The George Semper Orchestra - Got To Find A Way To Make Some Money

B2 The George Semper Orchestra - Cosmic Funk

B3 Jimmy Hayes - Queen For A Day

B4 The Love Affair & Troy Raglin  - Never In My Life