FUNKPROOF - The Revival LP
George Semper needs little introduction to soul and funk fans. The Trinidadian-American multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, publisher and label owner from San Diego is known as an innovator of the jazz organ, wielding major influence on funk and hip-hop. Notably sampled by Cypress Hill on their classic ‘Insane In The Brain’, Semper’s talent led him to collaborate with literally hundreds of artists, including Jimmy Smith, Merry Clayton, Isaac Hayes, Joe Tex, Johnny Taylor and Donny Hathaway. His 1966 LP Makin’ Waves is considered a Hammond organ essential and his 1977 production The Perfect Circle a cornerstone of Bay Area Funk.
George Semper’s career began in the late 1950’s as a leader of several R&B soul groups like the Kingsmen, Imperialites and Chessmen. He ran two successful San Diego nightclubs, and his abilities as a musician, writer, and arranger led to a varied performance and studio career throughout the 1960s and all the way through the 2000s. He worked with legendary acts from the likes of Brenton Wood, Mary Love and Johnny Taylor & he collaborated with venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Monterey Jazz Festival and Wattstax. George Semper was AR and musical director for clubs, artists and labels…he produced his own records, those of others and those for his own Inner City Records & Inner City Attractions labels. Many of these are now considered highly collectable gems.
Lesser known are Semper’s numerous band concepts and unreleased studio projects…all cut with top LA session players at recording studios in Hollywood, Compton and Watts. One such is … FUNKPROOF.
FUNKPROOF was formed in 1972 and was comprised of players from Brenton Wood’s United Soul Association and The Merry Clayton band. Semper produced the recordings himself and he’s handling the Hammond B3, keys, Sax and lead vocals. Original members Al McKay (Earth Wind & Fire) and Robert Roselle were later replaced by Richard Cavasos on guitar, Nathaniel “Basey” Johnson (Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band) on bass and Ernest Ray “Brother Puff” Johnson (The Ghetto, Hot Ice) completing the lineup on drums.
FUNKPROOF completed a full-length album (slated for release by MGM) that was never issued (because MGM was acquired by Polydor) until now! Today we present to you this unreleased hidden funk gem, completely remastered and its history revived, straight from The George Semper Music Archives vaults. Every track on this remarkable album delivers a consistently funky and soulful groove! Pitched between Chitlin’ circuit grit and electronic exploration, FUNKPROOF conveys a timeless message of love, life, and happiness through urban music culture.
This unreleased 1972 Funk-bomb is now available as a deluxe 180g vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies), and also comes with an insert containing exclusive liner notes and pictures. Also included with this release is a digital download card (w/extra tracks).