For more than fifteen years, saxophonist Steven Eugene Grove honed his skills as a sideman with some of the finest musicians in the genres of R&B, rock and jazz. It was during those times that he learned valuable lessons in professionalism, song craft and musicianship, while playing with the likes of Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Tower of Power, Richard Marx and a host of others. After many years of hectic traveling, Eugene decided to give up his grueling schedule and devote more time to his family. Ultimately, as a part of that decision he contemplated embarking upon a solo career in 1999. The decision to go it alone led to a name change and the release of three albums.
Under the pseudonym Euge Groove, this smooth jazz saxman has recorded his third release and his first for Narada Jazz entitled 'Livin' Large.' Although he falls into the category of smooth jazz, Euge's musical style has always been filled with the influences of pop, classics, R&B grooves and funky urban rhythms. This latest release has eleven-tracks that are derived from such artists as James Taylor, Sly & The Family Stone and tunes either written or co-written by Groove. As in his previous two releases, 'Livin' Large' follows the same general formula of R&B, jazz and pop. In adding James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" and Sly Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)," Euge featured one of his wife's favorite songs. The latter thanked his ever-growing fan and media base for supporting him as a solo musician.
Overall with the release of 'Livin' Large,' Euge Groove has set a brand new standard for himself. This recording is one that is adult-oriented and challenges the very essence of his abilities as a musician. In retrospect, the smooth jazz moniker just happens to be the style Groove is closely aligned to; however, he is much larger than that on this album. This time out he advances the cause and elevates the consciousness of contemporary jazz. In addition, with a career etched in a variety of musical styles and a solid foundation as a sideman, Euge exhibits his multi-faceted talents as a writer and saxophonist to release one of his best efforts to date.