Euge Groove (Mod)


aec.wb47655.2 5/2/00 New
$11.88 $13.98

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    Euge Groove (Mod) Warner Bros.

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Review Text In the old days -- say, up till five years ago -- up and coming artists seeking to build a grass-roots following as a means to a record deal had to hit the road, sell home-pressed CDs from the bandstand, and pray that an A&R guy might catch them one night. Nowadays, websites like MP3 make it possible to reach literally thousands of people simultaneously; all one has to do is upload songs and a photo to the site, fill out an information form, sit back, and await responses. Upon recording eight songs in the hopes of someday getting a deal, veteran touring saxman Steve Grove sought out the mixing expertise of genre hitmeister Paul Brown. While waiting three months for Brown to clear two days in his schedule for mixing the tracks, Grove threw his home mixes onto MP3. Soon he built a following of over 100 thousand downloading fans. For all the amazing back story to Euge Groove, it's pretty much a straightforward smooth jazz ride: catchy hooks, seductive rhythms, and an occasional splash of fiery horn doubling and tripling that brings Grove back to his days playing with Tower of Power. It's also highly intriguing how he resembles other sax players that Brown helped make successful. "Romeo & Juliet" -- which smacks of Boney James' gently soulful flow -- finds his irresistibly catchy soprano melody soaring above a moody, atmospheric synth harmony line, as the programmed drums roll steadily beneath. Grove's rich, low-toned tenor line floating over the cool, chunky bass driven groove of "Sneak a Peak" brings back warm memories of Sam Riney; the tune is given considerable color by a self-created horn section that urges the main melody line to greater heights. On the retro-soul minded "Vinyl," Grove's emotional soprano line surfs gracefully over a swirl of Danny Jacob's wah-wah guitar clicks and co-producer Michael Egizi's hypnotic and spacy synth swirls. For all his ubiquitousness and soulful demeanor, Brown has been labeled "The Babyface of Smooth Jazz," so it's no surprise to find him producing a twist on the Babyface composed Toni Braxton hit "Another Sad Love Song," with Grove blending soprano and tenor in spots to make the chorus much more in your face than the verse. Grove shows more genuine emotion here and on the dramatic, gospel-tinged closer "The Last Song" than in most other places. Gospel? Did someone say Kirk Whalum? ~ Jonathan Widran

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Romeo & Juliet - 5:56
  2. 2. Sneak a Peek - 5:05
  3. 3. Vinyl - 4:29
  4. 4. Give in to Me - 5:41
  5. 5. Another Sad Love Song - 4:25
  6. 6. Tenderhearted Lover - 5:53
  7. 7. Truly Emotional - 5:56
  8. 8. Lay It Down - 4:06
  9. 9. Summer Stroll - 5:58
  10. 10. Last Song - 5:11

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