Cover Story

The saxophonist likes what he hears on his new CD, Born 2 Groove, which is once again produced by Paul Brown and features the musician’s spiritual side.

By Brian Soergel

When saxophonist Euge Groove wanted to test the sound of his latest CD, Born 2 Groove, he didn't enter a studio, lock himself in a soundproof room and slip on headphones. He climbed into Blanche the Golden Girl. Blanche is Groove's 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible, so named because the saxophonist says it's a car the character on the old Golden Girls sitcom would have driven. “It has the best stereo I've ever had,” Groove says enthusiastically. “I also have a Suburban with sub-cabinets and power amps, but Blanche sounds better.”

When producer Paul Brown handed over the final mixes for the CD, Groove would turn the music on, put the top down and drive around the block of his Southern California home. Blanche must have given her approval because she's given a shout-out in the Born 2 Groove liner notes.

Of course, any CD featuring Brown's production and Groove's powerful sax playing is bound to sound good, and Groove's fifth CD fits the bill. It features his trademark growls, slamming beats and lush soprano on ballads. Groove says Born 2 Groove might be the exact opposite of his last CD, Just Feels Right, which was recorded in old-school analog style and boasted a number of old-school musicians. Born 2 Groove was recorded in high-definition sound and is grounded by a number of gospel-inspired musicians who may not be familiar to smooth jazz fans.

Groove elaborates: If you have Euge Groove, that goes down a central line, anyone paying attention since my first CD knows there's center line where everything is. Just Feels Right was just a little left of center, as far as its emphasis on '70s-style music. The new CD is just a little on the right side of center. My concept was to bring musicians in whose musical background is really based on church playing and the different musical language that they speak. I wanted to hear what that sounded like applied to my songs. So I still have my normal style, but you can hear the difference, especially if you're more in touch with church music.”...

The complete story can be found in the July edition of Smooth Jazz NewsClick here to subscrbe today. Receive an issue monthly (11 editions per year), February through December, for $35.    

For more information on Euge Groove, visit his website at www.eugegroove.com. Euge Groove’s touring schedule includes the following dates this month:

July 20: Four Seasons Resort, Aviara, 7100 Four Seasons Point, Carlsbad, California. For tickets or information, visit www.jazzconcerts.com, or call (760) 603-6800.

July 21: Westlake Jazz Series, Hyatt Westlake Plaza, 880 S. Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village, California. For tickets or information, visit www.WestlakeJazzSeries.com, www.jazzconcerts.com, or call (805) 557-1234.

July 22: 12th Annual JazzFest West (formerly the Old Pasadena JazzFest), Bonelli Park, 120 Via Verde, San Dimas, California. For tickets or information, visit www.omegaevents.com, or call (949) 360-7800.