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Release Date:
September 28, 2010

Reviewed by:
Bonnie Schendell

Why Paul (Shilts) Weimar chose to title this CD, Going Underground, is beyond me.  A more relevant title should be Right on Top!  This truly is his best collection of music to date.  Shilts mixes up some old school sounds, his notorious London funk, and a group of musicians that can only be called All-Stars.  Joining Shilts on this latest release are, Nick Colionne, Marc Antoine, Brian Simpson, Rick Braun, Randy Jacobs, Bill Steinway, Ricky Peterson, and Nate Philips.

“Lambeth Strut” starts off with Bill Steinway’s organ giving that old school feel.  Nick Colionne offers up some funky guitar riffs, but it’s Shilts’ tenor sax that leads the way on this toe-tapper.  The only cover “Sneakin’ Up Behind You,” a Brecker Bros. tune from the 70s, gives way to Shilts’ infamous Down to the Bone Sound and fits in well with the total vibe of the CD.  The Hammond B3 and Fender Rhodes really add flair.  “5 o’clock in Rio” really puts you in the city with Marc Antoine’s flamenco guitar alongside the tenor and the sexy piano of Brian Simpson.  This is a definite smooth jazz track and very radio friendly…if there were radio!

Back to the Hammond B3 from Jon Gilutin on “Tunnel Vision,” with killer bass lines from Jervonny Collier, this track just sizzles with electricity.  Powerful and loaded with energy, Shilts shows what he is truly capable of putting out there.  Another bass-laden track is “Uncontainable.”  This time the bass is provided by Nate Philips and again has that old school, funk sound.  Shilts is so comfortable with the heavy funk and has the power to back it. 

Slowing the pace down a bit is “Seeing Things Clearly,” with the Fender Rhodes again and Shilts’ sax played very passionately, and with a sense of romance.  “Eyes Down” and “Hip Bop” give us some very creative riffs and old school funk.  Rick Braun enters on “Hip Bop” adding to the relaxed, cool jazz feel.  You get almost a trio vide between Shilts, Rick and Bill Steinway on piano.  The CD winds up on “Standing Room Only”, a funk-heavy, in-your-face, get-off-your-arse tune! 

Shilts has definitely hit his mark with this one.  While a lot of artists have put the old school funk feel on their music lately, attempting to bring the EWF vibe back, Shilts does it in HIS way