This week (Friday, 25th August to be precise) smooth jazz sax man EUGE GROOVE releases a new album – his thirteenth as leader. The mellifluous 10 tracker is ‘Comfort Zone’ about which our man says: “The title ‘Comfort Zone’ came about because I was anything but comfortable writing this album and I needed to get out of my comfort zone…writing songs in different keys than I’m used to, made me come up with different melodies and chord structures”. That said, unless you were a trained musician who knows about chord structures and all that, then we need to say that the music on ‘Comfort Zone’ isn’t radically different to much of the sax man’s previous work.
In places it’s maybe tougher and more aggressive – as on the album’s lead single, ‘Junior’ which is Euge’s tribute to one of his heroes – a certain Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr. – Junior Walker to you and me!
But fans needn’t worry, ‘Comfort Zone’ is crammed withplenty of the classy, polished smooth jazz we’ve come to expect from Mr Grove. So things like the lovely ‘Two Bridges’ and ‘Up Close’ could not be bettered for smooth jazz Quiet Storm moments while if you want a soulful groove look no further than ‘Please Mr Groove’. Complete with vocoder fx, this one will get your feet tapping for sure! Guesting on that one , by the way, are Candy Dulfer and Richard Elliot – quality guaranteed! Another album highlight is the rather poignant ‘Let’s Hold Hands’ which features some sweet harmonica from another “name “ guest – Dino Soldo.
EUGE GROOVE; ‘Comfort Zone’ released Friday 25th August via Shanachie