Euge Groove – S7ven Large

May 19, 2011

As if carrying a magic potion around in their pockets that allows them to conjure up images and sounds that take the shape of songs bound for success., artists like super saxman Euge Groove, (now basking in the sunshine of his seventh release, the brand new S7ven Large) just don’t seem to be able to grasp the meaning of the word “miss” as in “hit or miss.” The latter is just not an option for these prolific and imaginative artists.

Here with S7ven Large, Euge, with help from guests like Jeff Golub, Peter White, Rick Braun, and Paul Brown, turns on the funky charm and smooth vibes that have escorted him along his successful path since his bangin’ debut over a decade ago. The tracks are fresh, even “more modern,” as he likes to refer to them, bringing him back to his Born 2 Groove days, but the Groove magic and funky charisma is still very recognizable.
Opening with a mellow, rather low-key, track simply called “Track 1,” featuring him on soprano sax, he appears to travel back to the Sunday Morning CD for a sec, then unloads on his tenor sax on “The Funky Bunch” with the type of ebb and flow found on tunes like the notorious “Sneak A Peek” with some gritty and powerful help from a great live horn backing, adding a spit-shine polish to an already sparkling track.

A real melancholy, bluesy piece is the saxman’s “Prayer for Peace.” This track is truly a cause to pause. The instrumentation is riveting (i.e., the Fender Rhodes, the sitar, and middle Eastern percussion), and he says “This is my prayer for the end of all of the violence involving our troops in the Middle East. It’s gone on way too long and my heart aches for these guys and their families.” Amen.

Later in the album, he’s joined by guitar icon Peter White on “To the Nines”. White, who offers his sweet melodic acoustic sound to the piece, dresses it “to the nines.”

Euge ends the CD on a bluesy note with the help of jazz/bluesman Jeff Golub who does the tune the justice you’d expect from such a blues master.

 The CD has much color and character (and its title has a story), and it shows throughout.  Would you expect less from one who personally has both?  — Ronald Jackson