Shilts – Head Boppin
(Artizen – June 2006)
by Paula Edelstein
Produced by Rick Braun for ARTizen Media, this high-energy label debut finds Shilts still in great company with such happening musicians as Rick Braun, Ricky Lawson, Lenny Castro, Jeff Lorber, Freddie Washington, Chris Standring, among others. Paul “Shilts” Weimer’s funky jazz soloing, made famous with his groups Brand New Heavies and Down To The Bone – is given its “props” on the opener “Look What Happened” – whose title is a riff on the title of his 2001 solo debut SEE WHAT HAPPENS. “Good Evans” is a soulful display of Shilt’s easy rolling and call-and-response technique within a smooth jazz art of ensembling.
Jeff Lorber’s melodic piano take this song over the top and makes it one of the better songs on the CD. The title track, “Headboppin'” is a hot mix of grooves, throbbing bass lines, and non-stop jamming that will have you feeling the undeniable excitement that Shilts has brought to his live performances time and time again. His gender bender “Mrs. Magic” a turnabout of Grover Washington’s “Mr. Magic” is just as soulful, has more of a funk/jazz feeling and offers a solid tribute to one of Shilts’ primary sax influences. So get with it and let Shilts work his contemporary jazz on you.