Euge Groove,
Livin' Large
(Narada, 2004)

Euge Groove has a solid background in jazz and is indisputably talented on his saxophone. Livin' Large is his third solo CD, replete with a smooth jazz sound that curls lazily around the senses, with the occasional tickle and twist perking it away from smooth predictability.

He opens with a delightful instrumental of "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" (James Taylor), which is also featured on Narada Jazz compilation The Love Project. He covers Sly & the Family Stone's "Thank You (For Lettin' Me Be Myself)," once as a rap, once as an instrumental (or as he has it on his website, "Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin")! The rap blend with the jazz sax is intriguing, though the instrumental version (there are still some abstract vocals) is equally powerful.

There are some stray vocals on "Talk to Me," but the saxophone does most of the talking and puts the voices in the shade. There is a strong piano presence on "Silhouette," which has a definitive feel-good thrum to it. "The Gift," by Steve Grove (a.k.a. Euge Groove), is a deliciously sensuous ballad, with soprano sax lifting and teasing the senses -- it's worth buying the album for this one track, although the others are lovely and worthy.

If smooth jazz is your thing, Euge Groove is your man!

- Rambles
written by Jenny Ivor
published 31 July 2004

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