Saxophonist Euge Groove needs no introduction. He is known as a colorful dog and his albums have also found their expression in numerous reviews. With his new album Comfort Zone, released this month on Shanachie Entertainment, he is once again pleasing the smooth jazz community.

Contributing to the recording of the new album were Tracy "TrayCar" Carter (keys), Cornelius "Corny" Mims (bass), John "Jubu" Smith (guitar), Trevor Lawrence Jr. (drums), Tim Heinz (B3), and Lenny Castro (percussion). Special guests are Richard Elliot (vocoder) (Mr. Groove), Candy Dulfer (alto sax) (Mr. Groove) and Dino Soldo (harmonica) (Let's Hold Hands).

The album opens with Measure for Measure on which Euge Groove shows his gentle romantic side. Soprano sax at its best. With Walkin' he lets it go more punchy. On Let's Hold Hands, Euge seeks and finds a duet with the inimitable Dino Soldo, who easily reaches the class of Stevie Wonder on his harmonica.

More starry-eyed moments are to find on Up Close. The high-stepping title song breezes the essence of smooth jazz as Euge knows to define. Crossroads are those stretches of road that impose a decision on you. Euge chooses the soprano saxophone and its inherent sweetness.

Caminito means minor way in Spanish. With small steps Euge sets accents, which are underlined by the rhythm and the pizzicato strings. Junior, on the other hand, is more for the big stage. It is no coincidence that Euge makes ample use of the overdub procedure. Unlike previous tracks, Euge tells a story on Two Bridges that develops in a long-building melody.

Somehow Candy Dulfer's career and style must have impressed him, because Please Mr. Groove has that funky something that we know from Candy since her time with Prince. Euge explains: "The song is a loosely based cover of a dance club groove from the 80’s by the group One Way that featured a Vocoder hook saying, ‘Please Mr. Groove’." Candy plays the Maceo Parker solo part on this tune. So we have everything what a great funk song is all about.

Euge Groove can't quite decide where to go on his new album Comfort Zone. The soft, mellow clearly predominates, but on the other hand he is also able to create a funky counterweight with his funky closing song.





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Album Information

Title: Comfort Zone
Artist: Euge Groove
Year: 2023
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Shanachie Entertainment

1) "Measure for Measure" (4:44)
2) "Walkin'" (4:31)
3) "Let's Hold Hands" (4:11)
4) "Up Close" (4:51)
5) "Comfort Zone" (4:50)
6) "Crossroads" (4:46)
7) "Caminito" (5:03)
8) "Junior" (4:50)
9) "Two Bridges" (5:12)
10) "Please Mr. Groove" (3:53)

Further reviews:

Sunday Morning

House Of Groove

Got 2 Be Groovin

S7ven Large (Seven Large) 

Still Euge

Groove On